Former Vancouver Canucks draft pick Rodrigo Abols signs contract with Philadephia Flyers

Abols was Arturs Silovs teammate on the Latvian 2023 Bronze Medal World Championship team
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Rodrigo Abols, a former Vancouver Canucks 2016 draft pick, has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. He previously spent time in the Florida Panthers organization during the 2019-2020 season playing for the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds and ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Abols, 28, was the 184th overall pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2016 NHL Draft. In recent years, he has played hockey in Sweden. He was Arturs Silovs' teammate on the bronze medal Latvian team in the 2023 World Championships and is participating in this year's World Championships. Abols was also a member of the Latvian 2022 Beijing Olympic team.

He is a 6'4" 188-pound center and left-handed shooter known to be a very physical player. Should he make it to the Flyers roster, it would be the first time he played NHL-level hockey in his career. Some speculate he could also be an asset on the Flyer AHL affiliate, Lehigh Valley Phantom roster.

Rodrigo Abols story is not uncommon among NHL draft picks

Playing NHL-level hockey is very difficult. Getting drafted marks just the beginning of the journey/struggle. It has been eight years since Abols was drafted by the Canucks. If he gets an opportunity to play for the Flyers, he will be just the third of six Canucks draft picks from his 2016 class to play in an NHL game. He joins Olli Juolevi and Will Lockwood. The three who have not yet made their NHL debuts are Cole Candella, Jakob Stukel, and Brett McKenzie.

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The 2024 NHL Draft is days away and while dreams can be realized when a player's name is called, it is important to realize many players have a similar journey as Abols. They continue to pursue their NHL dreams no matter how many doors close or years pass before they get their chance.