The NHL offseason is taking a big breath. As anticipation and speculation build surrounding the start of the upcoming season, teams have largely built their rosters that they believe to be strong enough to take them to a Stanley Cup. For the Philadephia Flyers, it’s been an interesting few months and while there are still some questions to answer, there is a lot to get excited about.
Developing young talent has been this franchise’s bread and butter for quite some time now and as a result, there is a bevy of youthful names looking to take a significant leap next season.
Joel Farabee, 20, W
The 14th overall pick back in 2018, Farabee was called up to the Flyers on October 20th after watching they watched him start his first professional season with the Phantoms in an explosive fashion, scoring a goal in each of his first three games.
He kept that momentum up at the NHL level, scoring his first NHL point just 3 days after making his debut, and his first goal one week later. In 52 games for the Flyers, Farabee amassed 8 goals and 13 assists, with a +6 rating. The rookie traveled with the team to the Bubble in Toronto, scoring 3 goals and adding on 3 assists in 12 games, while averaging 14:09 of ice time.
Farabee became a key component of the Flyers offense last year and there’s a strong chance he could even break the second line as a left winger depending on Lindblom’s availability and progress. If Lindblom is ready to surge back into the lineup, then a role on the third line at RW alongside Frost and Hayes would make sense.
However you slice it, Farabee should be set to see an uptick in production and will log regular minutes on the second and third lines.
Nolan Patrick, 22
Perhaps the biggest wildcard of all, the former second overall pick ensured his short-term future is in Philadelphia by accepting his qualifying offer. After missing the entirety of last season due to a migraine disorder,he returned to practice prior to the season’s abrupt suspension and has since partaken in several scrimmages.
If he’s on his way back to playing regular Hockey, the upside is tremendous. We all know how dangerous Patrick can be. He’s played in 145 games as a Flyer and in that time has amassed 26 goals, 35 assists, combining for 61 total points. This largely gets overlooked because of the time missed, but it’s important to remember his age and the delicacy of the situation.
Should Patrick play a role in the upcoming season, he’ll likely rotate onto the fourth line, replacing either Morgan Frost or Scott Laughton when they need a night off. This would work nicely in the long-term given that it eases him back into action and gives the team an opportunity to see if they do have a long-term option. If things don’t work out and Patrick needs more time, Laughton is the perfect backup plan for that fourth line.
If Patrick does take to the Ice and make an instant impact that he can sustain, then those tricky contract negotiations will open once more.
Morgan Frost, 21
Frost should make the team pretty comfortably coming out of camp. His game might not be as polished as a vet like Scott Laughtno, but his upside is what makes him so intriguing and a spot on the third line seems likely providing that the team don’t send him down to the Phantoms to begin with.
After making his NHL debut last year and playing in 18 games before being sent back down. In 20 total games for the Flyers, he scored 2 goals and notched 5 assists – a stark contrast to his 29 points across 41 games for the Phantoms.
Any ice-time will be of huge benefit to Frost, who arguably has a skillset a little less developed than Patrick, but the flashes of creative flair were simply too hot to ignore. If Frost starts the season on the main roster, cycling with Patrick and Laughton makes sense until AV finds the best combination. Should he log more than 18 appearances and avoid being sent down, then that is a huge developmental stride.
However, even if he is, it’s not the end of the world and will obviously be a better-suited environment where he can log more minutes and refine his game. Frost will be a name to keep a lose eye on next season.
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