Zac Rinaldo evolves with the Philadelphia Flyers

Zac Rinaldo continues to evolve

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A while back I wrote a post about how I thought the Philadelphia Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo was starting to evolve as a player. It may not appear like he has, but I think I was right.

While Rinaldo only has three goals, he has already matched his goals from last season. This shows us that he is improving and only needs to do a little more to beat his goal record from last year — although keep in mind that Rinaldo is not a player that is going to give the Flyers a 30-goal season. What he lacks in scoring, he makes up for in intimidation and forechecking.

Rinaldo could be really good for the Flyers on the forecheck and can be a team player. He has also been playing smart and legal hockey for someone with his style of play, which has drawn the ire from opposing teams because he has been drawing more penalties than he has taken.

Rinaldo also bring this intimidation factor to the ice that the Flyers have not had for a while, and it allows the Flyers to get into the heads of their opponents. Opposing players are starting to chirp at him more and he is starting to just skate away. This has been riling up opponents, leading to them making mistakes, which gives the Flyers some good opportunities.

In these ways, I think he definitely is showing a progression from last season. He’s changing as a player by trying to get those hard hits in and is doing it without making illegal moves. Had the league started on time, I think he would have a few more goals to his name this season.

This is only his second year in the NHL, so obviously he’s still going to make mistakes. We can only hope that he will learn from these and evolve as a well-rounded player. Rinaldo has ways to go but he is certainly transforming into a better player.

Let’s go Flyers! Deanna Vasso is a Flyers writer for rantsports.com. You can follow her on Twitter @Dmvasso.

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