Ah yes, another season for the Philadelphia Flyers built on hopes and dreams rather than actual talent. With an underwhelming 2022 offseason in the books, the roster will be brought back mainly intact from their 25-win 2021-22 campaign. It means the organization will look for growth from within, a phoenix to rise from the ashes and carry the team into a new season. The problem? Nobody seems fit to fill that role. There are some players that have more to gain than others, however. Whether it be last chances or looking to cash in on long awaited potential, which Flyers have the most to prove in 2022-23?
Number 5: Wade Allison
Allison has teased us with his potential since bursting onto the scene in 2020-21, but a string of injuries has kept him from dazzling at the NHL level full time. Being a college prospect, he’s on the older side, turning 25 in mid-October, so his clock is ticking faster than a typical prospect, but he has been putting on a show with the Phantoms for the last two seasons, so if he can manage to stay healthy and carve out a roster spot with the Flyers among the dozen other right wings on the team, he could very well turn into one of the star cornerstones this franchise desperately needs.
Number 4: Owen Tippett
Tippett will always be stuck with the tag of being the player the Flyers get in return for Claude Giroux, so the expectations will always be lofty, but he did show some potential late in the 2021-22 season that left us wanting more and a positive vibe for the future. At 6’1 and 210lbs and a nose for the net, he’s got all the makings of a solid power forward, but it will all come down to whether or not his scoring touch improves. If he can convert his chances into goals, he may be a sneaky good player for the Flyers this season. If not, he’ll be just that guy they got for Claude Giroux.
Number 3: Travis Konecny
Konency has seemingly been on the verge of breaking out his entire career, but he just has never been able to elevate his game to the next level. The reliance on potential loses its appeal when he’s entering year seven of his career. It’s no longer cute, now it’s just a player failing to live up to his talent. Considering the Flyers did him no favors by refusing to make any substantial offensive additions, not to mention he no longer has Claude Giroux’s coattails to ride on, he will have to figure out how to be a star on his own.
Number 2: Morgan Frost
Maybe the most underwhelming player to emerge from the Hextall era, Frost’s new one-year, $800,000 contract feels like a prove-it deal if there ever was one. Given Chuck Fletcher’s refusal to add center depth, Frost appears lined up to get every opportunity to prove he can play middle-six center at the NHL level. He’s shown brief flashes of potential in the past has been unable to lock down a consistent roster spot yet. Frost found chemistry with Tippett and Noah Cates late last season, a trio that could reasonably be the opening night third line, so maybe his best chance for success is finding consistent linemates he works well with.
Number 1: Ivan Provorov
The ebbs and flows of Ivan Provorov’s career have been felt hard, and 2021-22 was a major low for the 25-year-old. The fact he spent yet another full season with 35-year-old defensive defenseman Justin Braun did him no favors, and the frustration appeared to reach a boiling point when his end-of-season press conference got heated talking about his lackluster season. He’ll be strapped to Tony DeAngelo for the 2022-23 campaign, so hopefully with a right-handed puck mover flanking him, Provorov can finally once again prove that he is a top defenseman. The Flyers’ season will depend on his ability to rebound to his previous form.
Farabee’s season will be disrupted out of the gate after sustaining an offseason neck injury. Ever since he broke onto the scene in 2019, Farabee has seemed like something special. Now three seasons into his career, he’s still teetering on the brink of being a breakout star, but has yet to actually surpass that mark. He was the only Flyer to hit the 20-goal mark during the 2020-21 season, but a flurry of injuries and lackluster teammates limited his production to just 17 goals and 34 points during 2021-22. It’s time for Farabee to finally take that next step in his career and seal himself into a top-line role for the Flyers, now it’s just a matter of whether or not his neck limits his quality of play.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com