Home Flyers Leier “Trusting the Process” on Journey to the Flyers’ Roster

Leier “Trusting the Process” on Journey to the Flyers’ Roster

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WegENT WegENT

Name: Taylor Leier

Born: Feb 15 1994 (Age 23)

Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’10”

Weight: Approx. 174 lbs

Drafted: 117 overall, Round 4 by Philadelphia Flyers in 2012

 

It started in one of the most popular hockey cities in the world: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The largest city in the Canadian province is home to elite company in the hockey world. People like Gordie Howe, Mike Babcock, Cam Ward, and the Schenn brothers are all people from Saskatoon who have seen success at the professional level. As the population grows larger, so does the list. This is where future Flyers winger Taylor Leier’s journey began. From the time he was two years old, Leier was destined for greatness as he started skating on his backyard ice rink. Now, his life is an “awesome and unique” experience, and there is still so much to be done.

Taylor Leier is one of the Flyers young prospects with a ton of skill he is awaiting to showcase. He is currently playing for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, a league in which he has seen plenty of success. This is the speedy wingers third season in the AHL, and he has posted 108 points. In addition to this success, Leier was this year’s AHL All-Star most valuable player.

His success, however, did not begin in the AHL. Prior to his professional debut, Leier played junior hockey with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, where he tallied 178 points over three seasons.

The 2012 4th round pick has seen 10 games with the Flyers this season due to player injuries and roster movements, tallying a goal and an assist during his time with the team.

Though it took plenty of hard work, Leier knew it would pay off. He knew from the start what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He knew he wanted to be a professional hockey player, but he said it really clicked in once he was drafted into the NHL in 2012. When asking Leier about what his experience is like being a professional hockey player, he expressed excitement for the game.

“It’s awesome. Such a unique and exciting job to have as a young adult. We get to experience so many things and play in front of thousands of people every week. The schedule can be a grind at times, but we have a lot of fun as well.”

The 23 year-old expresses that even though the schedule can get tough at times, he would not trade his job for the world. For example, the Phantoms had a game on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this past weekend. That is tough for any hockey player to endure, and is extremely rare that is seen at the highest level. On normal practice days for Leier, he describes his day to be “pretty normal.” After waking up at 8:00AM, he walks right across the street to the rink for breakfast. He says the team usually has meetings right after they eat which explains why he eats at the rink. Soon after the team meetings, there is a pre-practice warmup at 10:30. The team then grinds out practice. Leier likes to enjoy a cold tub and a little relaxation between practice and lunch. After lunch, Leier has the rest of the day to himself.

During the offseason, the hard work does not stop. Leier and others train hard in the summers. It all starts with the famous Flyers tradition “Trial On the Isle” at Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Leier himself spends a lot of time at the gym lifting in order to stay healthy. While the season is going on, he still goes to the gym every so often, but spends most of his time training and conditioning on the ice.

One of the main factors in achieving success is overcoming obstacles, and Leier has definitely done that. In addition to the roller coaster of obstacles that it takes to actually make it to the NHL, there was one hardship that stood out for him. During the 2012-2013 WHL season, Leier had abdominal surgery. This was his first surgery and he described that to be his most challenging obstacle.

“It definitely took a lot of patience and rehab before I felt like myself again.” Leier expressed.

After the injury tested his patience, he was finally back out on the ice, driven by a phrase that has become the slogan of Philadelphia sports: when asking Leier about the best piece of advice he was ever given, he said “Trust the process.”

His favorite player growing up was Mike Modano because “he was so fast and scored so many goals.” When I asked him who he compared his playing style to, Leier replied with “Brandon Saad.”  Saad is a left winger for the Columbus Blue Jackets who currently has 41 points on the season. Leier has the potential to be on Saad’s level. He is just waiting for that chance to be on the big league roster. It may come sooner rather than later.

Leier spends most of his time with Scott Laughton because they live together across from the rink, but when each of the squads are on the road, he rooms with either Cole Bardreau of the Phantoms or Travis Konecny of the Flyers. He describes them as “both great guys.”

Leier attributes his success this year to the great lineup with good players. “This is my third pro season now and my confidence is the highest it’s been. We have a great lineup with a lot of good players. It’s fun to be a part of a team like this.”

The 2012 draft choice focuses on bringing three things to the lineup every night: Speed, tenacity, and compete. This has attributed to his success with the Winterhawks and the Phantoms. The next step is bringing this to the Flyers as they attempt to fight for the ultimate goal: winning the Stanley Cup.

Leier has been working towards his dream since he was two years old and just learning to skate. He is a perfect example of someone who strives towards a goal by having the dedication and putting in the work to achieve it. As us Philadelphia fans know from what we have already seen, the Lehigh Valley All-Star MVP can bring plenty of energy, speed, and scoring to a Flyers lineup that desperately needs a boost in all of these departments.

Leier has not suited up for a game since the AHL All-Star Challenge, which is almost three weeks ago. According to reports, he appears to be dealing with a nagging undisclosed injury. Upon speaking with me, he said that he is “getting better” and he will “hopefully be back soon.” Once he becomes fully healthy again, it is quite possible that he will once again be called up to play with the Flyers.

 

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