The Flyers open their season in less than two weeks: a home game against the Vancouver Canucks. With a new season comes new expectations and general manager Chuck Fletcher turned a stale core into a team with plenty of potential.
Without re-writing history here are the big names that left this offseason: Jakub Voracek, Robert Hagg, and Phil Myers. New names are: Ryan Ellis, Cam Atkinson, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Keith Yandle. Though the coaching staff is the same making player changes can re-energize this team.
This isn’t your grandpop’s pre-season primer. This is a look at how sportsbooks perceive the individual players on the Flyers and their pre-season odds to take home end-of-the-year honors. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Ryan Ellis +3000
The new top defenseman has the best odds of any Flyer to win the Norris Trophy. Ellis, who came to Philadelphia by way of Nashville, thanks to Nolan Patrick, brings a veteran presence to the top pair that simply wasn’t there last season. Ellis has logged a ton of minutes for some damn good Nashville teams. He’s been there, he’s done that and he gives some legitimacy and length to a defense that wasn’t up to par last season.
As the top guy on a team that should make the playoffs it should shock no one that he has the best odds on the team.
Ivan Provorov +5000
It seems like just yesterday Ivan Provorov was making his NHL debut, now he’s a solid #2 on the top pair. He hasn’t yet proven to be the guy who can shoulder the load and be the top guy, but he’s pretty good in this role. Proof? Look at his season with Matt Niskanen – he was excellent that season and with a guy like Ellis on his side he can surely duplicate that production, if not eclipse it.
Personally, I put $5 on this one. I like that he has offensive upside, given that he should have a competitive point total, he might be able to steal some votes from the traditional “stay at home” defensemen. Who knows, it’s a long shot.
Keith Yandle +7500
Set your money on fire with this one. He’ll likely be on the third pair with Justin Braun – which is fine, I think he’ll be a serviceable defenseman, he’s just not going to win the Norris Trophy.
Here are what the top three odds in the league look like. Cale Makar +350, Adam Fox +700 and Victor Hedman +700.
Sean Couturier +4000
Claude Giroux +20000
No real need to deep dive here – Coots and G are good players by league standards, they’re quite possibly the two best offensive players on the team, but in a league with Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews (+250, +600, +800 odds to win the Hart, respectively) there’s no way to compete for this kind of honor.
Sure, anything can happen and you can point to that incredible 2017-18 season Giroux had but even he fell short to Taylor Hall that season.
Carter Hart +3000
It’s tough to say a player’s in a make-or-break season, especially in his third year, but it feels like this is the year we need to learn a lot about Carter Hart. In his short career, he’s left us with more questions than answers. He’s flashed promise but showed a ton of inconsistencies. He needs to clean his game up and play more than half a season for sure. With Martin Jones as his backup, he should play in 60+ games this season.
To an extent, this team will go as far as Carter Hart takes them. Do I think he will win the Vezina trophy this year? Absolutely not. And that’s OK! I want to see progress from my 23-year old goalie.
Jack Adams Trophy
Alain Vigneault +5000
This might be my favorite bet of them all. Fletcher made a ton of moves in the offseason to bring in more firepower on offense in Cam Atkinson and shored up the defense with Ellis, Ristolainen, and Yandle. If this team bounces back and plays good, sound hockey Vigneault could easily find himself in the mix for the Jack Adams Trophy.
Simply put, if the Flyers are as good as we hope they are, AV should be a Jack Adams finalist. Here are some other odds for reference: Jon Cooper +600, Joel Quenneville +700, Barry Trotz +900, Dave Hakstol +2000, and Peter Laviolette +2500.
The Flyers over/under for points is 92.5, which is a great line. Their odds to make the postseason are +105 and -125 to miss for the second straight season. Their odds to win the Metropolitan division sit at +900, they’re +2000 to win the conference and +4000 to win their first Stanley Cup since Gerald Ford’s presidency.
*All odds for this story provided by DraftKings sportsbook*
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre