The Philadelphia Flyers 2023 NHL Preseason begins on September 25th. They’ll play the same teams twice, once on the road and once at home. On the schedule, the Flyers will test their mettle against the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders, and Boston Bruins.
A lot of the spotlight shines on position battles. Wade Allison has Olle Lycksell, Tyson Foerster, and Bobby Brink chasing his place on the NHL roster. Elliot Desnoyers is auditioning for a bottom-six role against teammates like Ryan Poehling and Morgan Frost, pending a contract extension for the latter. Then, the defensive unit is wide open.
Yegor Zamula, Victor Mete, Ronnie Attard, Adam Ginning, Helge Grans, and Emil Andrae are all 25 or younger. They’ll challenge the longevity of defensemen like Marc Staal, Nick Seeler, and Sean Walker in the lineup.
John Tortorella has the final say on his lineup, combining training camp and six preseason games, minding that the Flyers are rebuilding, developing, and learning what NHL talent is within their system.
New Jersey Devils
The Flyers will kick off their 2023 NHL Preseason on the road against the Devils. They’ll also play their first preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on September 30th, hosting the Devils.
New Jersey finished second in the NHL Metropolitan Division standings but fell 4-1 in the NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals. Along the way to a postseason berth, they split the season series with Philadelphia, 2-2-0. The Flyers had a goal differential of +3 before seven Devils skaters accounted for a goal in the 7-0 season finale.
Travis Konecny matched well against the Devils in 2022-2023, totaling four goals in three games.
New York Islanders
On September 27th, the Flyers visit the Islanders. Furthermore, they’ll close their 2023 NHL Preseason versus New York in Philadelphia on October 5th.
New York finished fourth in the NHL Metropolitan Division standings, successfully forcing their late berth into the postseason. A wildcard team, the Islanders were eliminated, 4-2, in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last season, the Flyers dropped the season series, salvaging a 1-3-0 record. Philadelphia experienced a series concluding shutout on April 8th, losing 4-0.
Travis Sanheim scored a shorthanded goal in the Flyers’ lone victory versus the Islanders.
Ending the Flyers’ 2023 NHL Preseason road trip, the Bruins will host on September 29th. Then, Philadelphia will be the scene of another preseason duel on October 2nd.
Boston sat atop the NHL at the end of the regular season. Then, the Florida Panthers, a wildcard team, eliminated them 4-3. The Bruins swept the Flyers in 2022-2023, touting a 3-0-0 series record. One of the losses featured a 6-0 shutout in January 2023.
Owen Tippett managed a point-per-game pace (2G, 1A) against the Bruins.
Room for Opportunity
At the moment, Frost hasn’t agreed to a contract extension. Poehling signed a one-year deal to find a role with the Flyers, and Tanner Laczynski is due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. If Frost doesn’t agree to an extension, Desnoyers or Laczynski will compete to fill in the bottom six.
Staal, Seeler, and Walker are all on expiring contracts, ready to become unrestricted free agents. Zamula, Attard, and Ginning make sense to get a first look before Grans and Andrae, who will likely spend a season in Lehigh Valley. Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen are the only remaining duo with a prior rapport on the Flyers’ defense. Zamula or Attard could succeed Staal, pairing with Cam York before next season finishes. If Briere decides to move on from Seeler and Walker after 2023-2024, Ginning could round out the rest of the Flyers’ defense as the rebuild pushes forward.
Approaching the 2023 Flyers Training Camp, the Flyers Training Center is full of space and opportunity, where prospects can earn a full-time NHL role. Furthermore, Tortorella will have an enhanced look at his roster in competition versus common opponents, evaluating who can contribute to a franchise rebuild.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)