Top 5: Flyers Most Likely to Surprise in 2023-24

2022-23 has been a bit of a double edged sword for the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re still a bottom ten team in the league, but it feels as though they built a foundation to work off of this season rather than the complete listless ship they’ve been the last few years. It has set the stage for the 2023-24 season to be a season of growth and some internal development from some of their up-and-coming talent. So who can we expect big things out of next year?

Number 5: Bobby Brink

The 34th overall pick in 2019 was a college standout at the University of Denver and suited up for 10 games with the Flyers last season before a hip injury sidelined him for a decent chunk 2022-23 campaign. He has 20 points in 33 games in the AHL since his return from offseason hip surgery and has played the right way even when the points aren’t coming. His scoring ability will ultimately decide when he ends up slotting in on the main roster, but he’ll more than likely be a very good third line winger with second line upside in the near future.

Number 4: Tyson Foerster

Tyson Foerster is technically in his third professional season, but this was his first full uninterrupted campaign. He’s been one of the top players for the Phantoms and dazzled during his eight game debut for the Flyers scoring three goals and seven points. The raw skill is off the charts for Foerster, though still has a bit of polishing to do round out his overall game. If he rises to the occasion during training camp next season and stays on this trajectory, the Flyers may finally have that long lost sniper they’ve been looking for.

Number 3: Ronnie Attard

The Flyers have long since been looking for a defenseman that can blend offense with solid defense, and Ronnie Attard looks to be the next man up for that role. He’s been getting better and better in Lehigh throughout the 2022-23 campaign and could very well make the Flyers main roster out of camp if the Flyers ditch underwhelming acquisition Tony DeAngelo during the offseason. He possesses a cannon of a shot and seemingly sturdy enough defense that he can actually be deployed in actual NHL minutes. Is Attard the two-way right-shot phenom the Flyers have been hoping for?

Number 2: Noah Cates

Noah Cates made quite the first impression with the Flyers during his 16-game sample size to end the 2021-22 season, and had served the Flyers in a new role during the 2022-23 season as he’s been transitioned to center and utilized more in a shut down role as opposed to the scoring winger he seemed poised to be. While he is still learning his new role, there have been plenty of flashes of potential that he’s going to succeed as time goes on. Especially with Sean Couturier’s condition upon his return unknown, it’s not a bad thing they could have a new above-average two-way center on the team. It could just be a matter of time before he starts to garner Selke votes.

Number 1: Owen Tippett

Tippett has a rather large cross to carry as the player the Flyers received back in the Claude Giroux trade. Nevertheless, he has risen to his new role with the Flyers. He’s got 21 goals and 40 points through 67 games while putting on display a potential that’s even higher than that. He seems to be one of the players with plenty of raw skill but suffering from the lack of ability surrounding him on the rest of the roster. If the team ever takes a step forward talent wise, expect Tippett to grow as well. He is currently second of the Flyers in goals, a position he’s held for most of the season.

Honorable mentions

Olle Lycksell

Lycksell was high on the list of players that surprised in 2022-23, so it’s likely to believe that his stock will continue to rise in 2023-24. The sixth round pick in 2017 made the jump to North America for the 2022-23 season and has been raising eyebrows dating back to the rookie game in September. While he may not be a scoring winger full-time in the NHL, he’s more than likely going to be a very solid two-way third line winger with a higher end scoring upside if ever given the chance. He currently sits just shy of a point-per-game pace with the Phantoms through 45 contests.

Wade Allison

Wade Allison hasn’t had a bad 2022-23 season, his first full year in the NHL, per say, but he didn’t quite lived up to the lofty bar he set in the AHL either. John Tortorella has tried to mold him into a two-way depth player, which just isn’t the player he is. He’s an all-offense net crasher whose ability to play with reckless abandon is a positive. Whether it ends up being with the Flyers or someone else, the first coach to capitalize on his strengths will be rewarded with a very good player.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit: nhl.com

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