There’s a renewed sense of hope surrounding the Philadelphia Flyers after a busy offseason by Chuck Fletcher. One of his biggest accomplishments is that fact he added as many pieces to the team as he did without giving up too much of his young core in the process. That leaves plenty of potential for a breakout season by one of the young players on the roster. Whether that means finally snagging a roster spot and putting their talents on display for the first time, or building off an already impressive resumé, which Flyers should you keep an eye on during the 2021-22 season?
Number 5: Cam York
Thanks to the wild offseason the Flyers have had, there’s no easy path for Cam York to the NHL. Though when you possess the talent that York does, it’s only a matter of time before he’s kicking down the door. When he does secure a roster spot, expect his stock to rise fairly quickly. He is a phenomenal skater and praised for his high hockey IQ, he can turn into a magician of the Flyers’ blue line in short order. As noted, the addition of Keith Yandle and the returning Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov will mean spots on the left side will be in high demand. Chances are York starts the season in the AHL and gets some time to develop a little more as the Flyers, lead by head coach Alain Vigneault, sift through the new faces on defense and what works and what doesn’t.
Number 4: Morgan Frost
The hype-to-production ratio hasn’t been great since Morgan Frost made his pro debut, but the Flyers did leave a noticeable gap at 3C, maybe for a reason. Even through his struggles, Frost still possess elite playmaking potential, but he needs to be put in a proper role to use it. Plopping Frost on the forth line just to say he’s on the roster makes no sense. The best chance Frost will have to succeed would probably be in a top-six wing role, which are hard to come by given the current state of the roster. Though, they are deep enough at forward that even on the third line, he may be riding any of Van Riemsdyk, Allison, Atkinson or Giroux, so there is still a chance Frost can gain some real footing in the NHL, but it will be up to him whether or not he can hang onto it.
Number 3: Oskar Lindblom
Lindblom was well on his way to becoming a star early in the 2019-20 season before a cancer diagnosis derailed his career. He spent the last season regaining his stamina and physical strength, but played a bigger role as the lifeblood of the team, which most of the time went ignored. By the time the 2021 campaign came to an end, he was seemingly in better standings than he was at the beginning. He posted three of his eight goals in the last two weeks of the season. Lindblom has never been a big scorer, making the beginning of 2019-20 seem like even more of an anomaly, but if he can find a reasonable scoring touch, say in the 20-goal range, and play a very solid defensive game, he could become a premiere middle-six winger for the Flyers in the not-too-far future.
Number 2: Carter Hart
Even though it feels like Hart’s been manning the Flyers’ crease forever already, he has just 101 games under his belt and we’ve seen many faces of his play during that time. From a borderline unbeatable brick wall, to a leaky head case that can’t stop a beachball. More often than not he’s a above-average dependable starter who can steal games on a regular basis. Chuck Fletcher spent the offseason rebuilding a defense that was absolutely pitiful during the 2020-21 season and both Hart and Elliott paid the price of such a disaster. With a bunch of new bodies in front of him, some that won’t hesitate to protect him, and a full summer to clear his head, the Carter Hart we all know and love will return and once again carry the Philadelphia Flyers.
Number 1: Joel Farabee
Can a player breakout twice? If so, mark Farabee down for another big season. The 21-year-old was one of the few Flyers that didn’t have a massive struggle during the 2021 campaign and was the only player to crack the 20-goal plateau. Considering he almost doubled his point production from his rookie season in four less games, it’s safe to expect we haven’t seen the best of Joel Farabee yet. His 20 goals and 48 points in 55 games would put him on track for the 30-goal mark as well as a few ticks shy of a point per game. With Jake Voracek no longer in the picture on the right wing and the aging Claude Giroux and James Van Riemsdyk the only obstacles on the left, there’s no reason to think Farabee isn’t apart of the Flyers’ top line in some form or fashion this season, which only betters his odds of becoming a superstar.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: Bob Fina, insidehockey.com