Could a trade for Boeser supplement the Flyers goal-scoring?

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Brock Boeser
Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser (6) scores against Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Currently, the Philadelphia Flyers are the worst ranked NHL team in terms of goals scored per game (2.41) in 2022-2023. In a loss to the Washington Capitals, the Flyers outshot their opponent, 30-27, scoring once. Before that, they scored five versus the Colorado Avalanche. Those inconsistencies match the lack of scoring plays. The Flyers rank 29th in goals scored, only ahead of the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Nashville Predators.

Amid scoring struggles, players on offense are trending in the right direction. Kevin Hayes is having a career-best start, Travis Konecny is producing at more than a point-per-game pace, Owen Tippett is in line for a breakout season, and the powerplay is streaking.

Cam Atkinson finished second in team scoring last season. Atkinson would be a major help towards boosting the Flyers’ scoring. He’ll be relied on upon his return, but the roster must continue to grow in his absence. He represents high-end talent the Flyers severely miss.

In the system, there are a few goal scoring prospects. Cutter Gauthier is on a hot streak at Boston College, and one day will help supplement scoring on the wing or in center ice.

Then, there is one player who could benefit from a change of scenery. The recent news involving the Vancouver Canucks seeks attention:

Brock Boeser

On July 1st, 2022, Brock Boeser signed a 3yr/$19.95mil contract extension. Selected 23rd overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, he was taken just before Konecny.

Boeser made his debut in 2016-2017, tallying five points (4G, 1A) in nine games. His hit his career high in goals scored (29) in 62 games the next season. In 2018-2019, Boeser hit a career-high in points (56) en route to his best NHL season. Since then, he hasn’t reached 50 points in a season, including last season when Boeser set a new career high in games played (71) before agreeing to the contract extension with the Canucks.

Last week, Vancouver granted permission for Boeser and his agent to seek a trade. Last Saturday began with Boeser listed as a healthy scratch against the Coyotes. However, Boeser did play and scored the game-tying goal to force overtime, where the Canucks won 3-2.

Though he signed a new deal in July, it isn’t too surprising that Boeser is on the trade block. He dipped last season and the Canucks need to clear cap space to offer Bo Horvat a new deal. Speaking of Horvat, it isn’t a guarantee he’ll remain in Vancouver either.

The Canucks are in a bit of a rut. Only two points out of a wildcard berth, their start to the season was disastrous. Full of talented players with high-end potential throughout their lineup, the results are simply lacking. Additionally, Vancouver isn’t without their drama.

Boeser resides on the second powerplay unit while remaining in the top-six of the lineup. Seeking a trade, the price for Boeser won’t be expensive. Likely, a first-round pick wouldn’t need to be involved.

What about Philadelphia?

Boeser is only 25-years-old and he could complement the lineup. The Flyers need a goal scorer. While Boeser hasn’t had a 30 goal season in his career, maybe a change of pace in Philadelphia under John Tortorella helps him reach that milestone.

Showing an ability to contribute on offense while playing a physical brand of hockey, Boeser is an ideal building block for the the Flyers. The salary cap situation is tricky, so they would have to jettison a high salary player to afford Boeser. Only a few players in Philadelphia are peaking in trade value at the moment.

Hayes would draw interest after his career-best start. He’s shuffled around the Flyers lineup, maintaining his status as the leading scorer for Philadelphia. A switch from center to left wing extracts more offensive production, especially since he can be free of defensive responsibility.

“Everyone thinks Kevin is in the doghouse. Kevin isn’t in the doghouse. Kevin needs to learn to play the right way, and I think he is trying to do that.”

John Tortorella; 11/29/2022

Tortorella trusts Noah Cates, a career collegiate winger, at center because of his defensive work. Hayes is a career NHL center. Additionally, the plan is to develop Gauthier into an NHL center.

Hayes currently is a critical part of the Flyers lineup, but trading a package for a player five years his junior with the potential to score 30+ goals is the interesting long-term building critical for creating cap space. It’ll be interesting to gauge interest between the Canucks and Flyers for Boeser.

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

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