2023 Flyers New Additions: Ryan Poehling

Flyers' Daniel Briere
FILE – Danny Briere speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Voorhees, N.J. The Philadelphia Flyers have fired general manager Chuck Fletcher and promoted former franchise great Danny Briere to the interim job, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday, March 10, 2023, because the move had not officially been announced. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Last season, Ryan Poehling was on and off the injury report between December 2022 to March 2023 with an upper-body injury. He first disappeared from the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup after a 6-2 win against the St. Louis Blues. He missed two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres. Later in the month, he missed three more games against the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, and Detroit Red Wings. The upper-body injury escalated to an undisclosed injury, something a little more complicated, and it never left.

As quickly as Poehling returned, he left again to begin 2023. He missed nine games before returning on January 22nd against the New Jersey Devils. Poehling missed most of February but remained in the Penguins’ lineup for the rest of the season after returning against the New York Rangers in mid-March.

Kyle Dubas signed Lars Eller, who had a healthy season and appeared in the postseason with the Colorado Avalanche, to replace Poehling.

Daniel Briere bet on potential when he signed Poehling. He agreed to a 1yr/$1.4mil contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 1st, testing free agency after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Penguins.

It was a win-win. A rebuilding franchise finds stable, young NHL depth. Briere moved Kevin Hayes for a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Blues, creating more opportunity down the middle. Sean Couturier and Noah Cates will maintain real estate in the top six while Poehling competes to prove he belongs in the bottom six. 

Similarly to Wade Allison, a vital concept to a successful 2023-2024 season for Poehling is staying healthy. He could be a double-digit goal scorer if he played an entire season. Poehling also would help improve the Flyers’ penalty kill, ranked 26th in the NHL in 2022-2023.

Poehling, 24, could catch on as an effective role player in Philadelphia. He represents credible competition to other prospects in the Flyers system, such as Tanner Laczynski and Elliot Desnoyers. Two could dress the middle in the bottom six if Morgan Frost doesn’t agree to an extension. He fits the responsible two-way style John Tortorella preaches in the middle of the ice, perfect for the 4C role.

“With Ryan, the upside is pretty interesting. At his age, the position he can play; wing or center, I think it’s very exciting. It’s right in line with what we’re trying to do; giving our young guys the chance to play. I think he fits right in with that timeline at his age.”

Daniel Briere; 7/1/2023

In and out of the lineup with the Penguins, Poehling totaled 14 points (7G, 7A) in 53 games. He can play along the left wing, another position where injuries and uncertainty hit recently.

Mostly, free agency is a time when teams add older players, but in a rebuild, adding Poehling at his age was an ‘added-bonus’ and ‘a no-brainer’ according to Briere.

At the 2023 Flyers Training Camp, Poehling begins battling his teammates for a place in the NHL lineup. His first season in Philadelphia will be an audition for an extension. Poehling could center the fourth line featuring Nicolas Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway. Under Tortorella and Brad Shaw, Poehling likely becomes a better two-way forward and a penalty-killing asset. If he remains healthy, Poehling can earn his place in Philadelphia.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)