On the day of the Flyers’ 2022-2023 regular season home opener, defenseman Travis Sanheim agreed to an 8-year contract extension worth $50 million. Sanheim will carry an annual value of $6.25 million until he is 34 years old.
Sanheim, 26, was a potential pending restricted free agent at the end of the 2022-2023 season. During training camp, general manager Chuck Fletcher cited that he was in discussions with Travis Sanheim’s agent regarding an extension.
Travis Sanheim’s Journey
Travis Sanheim was a Ron Hextall draft selection. Drafted 17th overall during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Sanheim’s rise in production has occurred under the management of Fletcher.
During the 2021-2022 season, Sanheim was the team’s best performer on defense. He scored 31 points (7G, 24A) in 80 games played. He was the only player on the roster to finish with a positive plus-minus rating with a +9 (complete season in Philadelphia; 41+ games played). His 22:58 of average ice time ranked him second on the team behind Ivan Provorov.
Sanheim found chemistry alongside Rasmus Ristolainen on the second pair. Ristolainen’s physical presence made Sanheim’s job easier, which contributed to his standout season. At the end of 2021-2022, Sanheim took home the Barry Ashbee Trophy and the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy.
Philadelphia sees value in Sanheim’s abilities, hence the extension. Sanheim could have returned a decent haul of value at the trade deadline if an extension didn’t take place, but trade discussions will not be necessary moving forward.
“We’re extremely happy to have Travis under long-term contract and see him as a key piece of our team’s future,” said Fletcher in a statement released by the organization regarding the signing. “Travis has improved each season to become a highly reliable player and key contributor on our blue line. Furthermore, he is someone who has developed his entire career with us and has grown into a valuable leader for our team.” Chuck Fletcher; 10/13/22
Philadelphia wanted to keep Sanheim, and the defenseman wanted to remain as a Flyer. Solidifying himself as a top-four defenseman, Sanheim will continue to be relied on during 2022-2023 and in the future.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre