Flyers sign Union left winger Hatch (updated)
Shayne Gostisbehere won’t be the only Union College hockey player in the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp in September.
Dutchmen senior left winger Matt Hatch signed a free-agent contract with the Flyers on Tuesday. The deal is with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate in Allentown, Pa., the Lehigh Valley Phamtoms. Hatch will join Gostisbehere, who signed with the Flyers shortly after the Dutchmen won the NCAA hockey title in April, when the team begins camp in Voorhees, N.J.
The 24-year-old Hatch is the fourth member of the national champions to sign with an NHL club, joining Gostisbehere, the junior defenseman who was the Flyers’ third-round pick in the 2012 draft, senior defenseman Mat Bodie (free-agent deal with the New York Rangers) and senior left winger Daniel Carr (free-agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens).
“I’m really excited,” said Hatch, the Massena native who had 34 goals and 39 assists in 148 career games. “It’s been a long process. I’m really very excited to get going and being a part of a world-class organization.”
Hatch had career highs in goals (13) and points (21) this season. But it was more than just the offensive production that impressed Union coach Rick Bennett.
“Matt has something that a lot of players don’t have,” Bennett said. “He’s got tremendous foot speed. He provides a lot of energy. In his time here at Union, he just did a lot of things that a lot of guys don’t like to do. He did a lot of dirty-area stuff. Guys like to play with him, too. He can make his line better by doing the stuff that guys don’t like to do.”
Hatch had a productive postseason, collecting four goals and three assists over the final six games. He opened the scoring against Colgate in the second period of the ECAC Hockey tournament championship game and added an assist in the Dutchmen’s 5-2 win, giving them their third straight tourney title.
In the NCAA tournament East Regional, Hatch scored twice in a 5-2 semifinal victory over Vermont. He opened the scoring with a short-handed goal 4:15 into the game, and he finished it off by scoring an empty-net goal with 2:43 remaining in the third period. In the 3-1 title-game victory over Providence, Hatch scored with 3:47 left in the game and 1:18 after the Friars had pulled to within 2-1.
Hatch had an assist on Daniel Ciampini’s first-period goal in the Dutchmen’s 7-4 victory over Minnesota in the NCAA title game.