Jamie Drysdale PHI feature tune in SS logo

It's been a little over a month since Jamie Drysdale was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Anaheim Ducks, but the defenseman is finally feeling comfortable.

"I'd say I feel settled," Drysdale said. "As settled as you can feel."

From an early-morning flight to a new city, a point in his first game, a serious illness and an All-Star break tropical getaway, it's been quite the whirlwind since the Jan. 8 phone call telling him he was headed to Philadelphia.

And now he's got another big moment coming with the first outdoor game of his NHL career. The Flyers play the New Jersey Devils in the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, TVAS-D, SN1).

"I'm really looking forward to that," Drysdale said. "Right when I got traded, a lot of guys on [the Ducks] were like, ‘Well, on the bright side, you get to play in that outdoor game.’ It's something that ever since I got traded I've been looking forward to it, so I think it should be a lot of fun, a really cool experience."

Drysdale's father built an outdoor rink behind the family's home in Toronto for him and his older brother, Charlie, to skate on when they were younger.

Playing in front of 80,000 fans at an NFL stadium will be very different.

"I think it'll be awesome," he said. "Definitely a new experience. That's one of the reasons you play. It's just the atmosphere that's awesome, so I'm really looking forward to it."

2024 NHL Stadium Series ice rink build

Drysdale has had no shortage of memorable moments leading up to the Stadium Series. It started with that 5:45 a.m. flight out of Nashville, where the Ducks were preparing to play the Predators, to Philadelphia the morning after the trade. He arrived in time to skate in a 30-minute practice and meet some of his new Flyers teammates and coaches.

The next night, he was in the lineup and had an assist on the game-tying goal in Philadelphia's 3-2 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens.

The game came with his parents in the stands, flown in with help from general manager Daniel Briere.

"That was huge," Drysdale said. "I can't thank them enough for that. It felt like a new first game. You feel like you'll never relive a first game, but to be honest, that was about as close as you can get. It was awesome."

Then it was right out on the road for a three-game trip, but after playing the first game, against the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 12, he missed the next two because of an illness.

"It wasn't fun, I can tell you that," he said. "I wouldn't want other people to experience it. It wasn't great."

He returned to play six games before the All-Star break, which ended with five straight losses.

Drysdale had planned to spend the break in Toronto, but his new teammates had other plans. Defenseman Cam York was among a group of about 10 players who took Drysdale to Mexico with them for a few days of sun, sand and beach volleyball.

"I literally didn't have to do anything," Drysdale said. "They booked the ticket for me, they set up the hotel, everything, so I literally just had to show up."

York said it was easy and important to include Drysdale.

"It was a really fun trip and a lot of good memories on that thing," York said. "He was a late addition, but he was happy to be there with us."

Drysdale is working on adjusting smoothly on the ice too; in 12 games since the trade, he has four points (two goals, two assists), and a minus-6 rating while averaging 18:56 of ice time.

TBL@PHI: Drysdale scores his first goal as a member of the Flyers

"I think he's a work in progress," Flyers coach John Tortorella said. "I think he has a lot to learn. I think he has a lot to learn about positioning, time and space. ... I'm not sure how Anaheim did it, but they played a man-on-man defense, and he's trying to figure out how we're playing with our zone coverage. Just the overall positioning of that play, understanding angles, understanding checking forward. We have a lot of work to do there, and we expected that with a 21-year-old kid.

“But the upside with his skating and his escape, how he can escape, it's really encouraging. But as far as his overall game, there is a ton to work on with him.”

Much of that work has fallen to assistant Brad Shaw, but Drysdale has enjoyed their extra work together.

"Shaw's an incredible hockey mind, so I was looking forward to working with him out of the gate," Drysdale said. "It's all the little things -- stick placement, not drifting out of the dots, staying put, sometimes this is a better play, sometimes that's a better play. We've been going over video. He's not kind of overloading me with stuff, but little things here and there."

That work will continue beyond the Stadium Series game as Drysdale continues to adjust to his new surroundings.

"It's still a work in progress," he said. "[Shaw] just talks with so much detail. It's pretty easy to learn from him, to be honest; he doesn't overcomplicate anything. He makes it very simple, very plain. I think that's something that's easy to learn from, and I'm just going to continue to do that and pick his brain and see what goes on."

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