Cam Atkinson’s move to the Philadelphia Flyers is one that should certainly benefit the team with the 2021 NHL regular season right around the corner. Atkinson wasted little time in making an impact for his new team during preseason camp and delivered his first goal on Saturday to show just what he is about on the ice.
Atkinson helped the Flyers to a 3-1 preseason win over the Washington Capitals in D.C. on Saturday night, scoring the first of what should be many goals this season. The veteran forward has quickly gelled with his new teammates in Philadelphia after spending his entire professional career to date in Columbus.
After being acquired in an offseason trade for Jakub Voracek, Atkinson had to pack up and move to Philadelphia with hopes of helping the Orange and Black bounce back from a disappointing 2020-21 campaign. He’s only played three games with his new teammates in Pennsylvania, but already is glowing with confidence with the regular season opener just 11 days away.
“It was good,” Atkinson said postgame about his goalscoring performance. “It’s always nice to contribute, and I thought our line started playing better, especially in the second, and obviously in the third, so it was nice to get on the board.”
“It was a great pass,” Atkinson said about Oskar Lindblom’s assist on the goal. “Just before that, I think we had some opportunities as well. It’s just one of those things where we get more comfortable playing with each other. Learn each other’s tendencies out there, and know where the spots are. I thought we took strides in the right direction.”
Atkinson’s wrist shot gave the Flyers a 2-1 advantage early in the third period, before Scott Laughton’s first goal of the preseason padded the eventual victory. The 10-year NHL veteran has registered 402 points in 627 games during his career, being an influential part on the ice and in the locker room for the Blue Jackets before being shipped off to Philadelphia this summer.
Now with Kevin Hayes out for the early stages of the regular season due to a groin injury, Atkinson’s role will grow even more important as the team aims to start on a high note.
He has a lot of energy and he doesn’t lose a lot of battles,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said about Atkinson. “He is not scared of traffic. You saw his goal tonight. He gets in there. It is fun to watch him just his hockey sense and making the right plays. I have played against him a lot. It is great to have him on our side.”
Atkinson and the Flyers are back in action on Monday against the Boston Bruins before facing the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals on Tuesday and Friday respectively.