( Photo Credit: everettssilvertips.com )
By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976
Colton Hargrove has said goodbye to the smallest state in the union and donned his Ten Gallon Texas Hat. The funny part is not that his new hat is as big as his old state, but that we immediately welcome Austin Fyten to remove his giant tuque and join this itty-bitty piece of the planet. That’s right P-Bruins peeps off one goes to Texas and in one comes from the same.
Fun and games aside, who is Austin Fyten and what does he bring to Providence? Austin Fyten was a promising 20-year-old forward playing in the WHL for Lethbridge Hurricanes. In 2010, the 54-point season he put up had many talking draft and development camp. According to an article by Paul Prass, that talk was stifled when in an exhibition game days before attending his first development camp he suffered an injury, resulting in a torn ACL. Sitting out the entire 2011 regular season rehabbing his knee and fighting back from such a devastating blow did not prevent Fyten from putting up 5 points in 6 playoff games post-season.
Never to be kept down and without being drafted, Fyten entered the 2012 season at the ECHL level for the Idaho Steelheads seeing 47 games and posting 41 points. Apparently showing the Dallas organization what they wanted to see, Fyten was given a PTO with their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars. However, while he saw 11 games, he only put up 2 points, and it was back to the Steelheads.
The 2013 Season saw much of the same with time split between the AHL and ECHL. The number of games played went up to 62, but his numbers saw the reverse with a slide down to 35. 2014 saw the Philadelphia Flyers taking a chance on the kid they had vetted 3 years previous and had felt had a ton of promise. Assigning him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, their AHL affiliate, for the entire season. They were looking for a solid payout on their risk. Numbers of 2-9-11 in 64 games followed by another lower body injury were not the rewards they were hoping for so once again the seeds of change had been sewn.
The 2015 season was spent mostly in the ECHL, with the South Carolina Stingrays, and only 6 games played at the AHL for the Hershey Bears. It appears however that this extended period in the ECHL this late in his career may have been a wake-up call. After helping the Stingrays through 19 playoff games with a showing of 19 points, Austin has spent all but 5 games in the 2016 and 17 seasons in the AHL with the Dallas Stars. Including 11 games in the postseason ending in a brutal defeat by the Toronto Marlies.
Now coming to our own little slice of heaven here in Providence, Austin brings with him, a physical style to his forward game with the ability to play Center or Left Wing. Obviously not a high scoring forward he seems happy to kill penalties and bring some grit up front if it’s needed. With the depth we have at center it will be interesting to see where he fits in and how well he meshes with the other players on the team. Sometimes it is not just who you are, but who you are with, so I am going to give Austin a ‘Fyten’ chance to make a solid start here. Only time will tell if he has truly found his Providence, divine or not.