After an ugly 2016-17 performance, the Philadelphia Flyers made it back to the playoffs last season. However, the Flyers were bounced in the first-round for the third straight time (2014, 2016 & 2018).
Despite the lack of playoff success, the Flyers are 122-86-38 (12th best record) in three seasons under Dave Hakstol. Philadelphia did not really lose any key players from last year’s roster and added James van Riemsdyk to an already deep top-9.
➕ James van Riemsdyk (Free Agency)
➕ Christian Folin (Free Agency)
At the start of last season the Flyers moved Claude Giroux to the wing and Sean Couturier to centre the top-line and it worked fantastically. The duo played over 1100 minutes together at 5v5 and posted a strong 55.14 CorsiFor%, 53.32 ScoringChancesFor% and 63.64 GoalsFor%. Travis Konecny, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek rotated on the right-side and Konecny figures to start there this season.
Adding van Riemsdyk could hurt Simmonds chances at a bounce-back season, but gives the Flyers three really strong lines. Both van Riemsdyk and Simmonds have been two of the most consistent goal-scorers over the years and huge power-play producers. Putting van Riemsdyk on the second-line with Nolan Patrick and Voracek and keeping Simmonds on the third line stretches out the depth and gives them the No.11 ranked second-line and No.8 third-line according to Corsica Hockey Player Ratings.
One of the most interesting names on this Flyers roster is Oskar Lindblom. The 22-year-old appeared in 23 games with the Flyers last season, picking up just six points (2G / 4A). In his last year Sweden, Lindblom had 47 points (22G / 25A) in 52 games and posted similar numbers in the AHL last year—16 goals and 18 assists (34 points) in 54 games. The 22-year-old winger is a great shooter , who could be a waiver add at some point this season.
The Flyers have one of the deepest prospect pools on the blueline. Travis Sanheim is projected to be the one to become a full-time NHLer this season with Samuel Morin and Philippe Myers staying put in Lehigh Valley (AHL) for now. Sanheim joins a blueline that is led by the offensive-minded Shayne Gostisbehere and the 21-year-old Ivan Provorov.
Gostisbehere ranks as the No.6 right-handed defenseman (per Corsica Player Ratings) and Provorov the No.21 left-handed D. Gostisbehere owns the power-play time (3:18 PP/TOI per game last season) and ranks as our No.10 fantasy defenseman this season. Provorov is one of the great young defenseman in the NHL, who had 15 goals and 21 assists (36 points) at even-strength last year. He will play nearly 25-minutes per night this season, but his fantasy upside is capped by Gostisbehere’s firm grasp on the top PP.
The Flyers’ goaltending situation is a clear timeshare. Brian Elliott hasn’t started more than 45 games since 2011 and Michal Neuvirth’s career-high is 32 starts. Elliott figures to have the lion’s share of the workload. The timeshare is projected to be 60/40 split.
During his first season with the Flyers, Elliott was 23-11-7 with a 2.66 GAA and .909 SV%. Neuvirth posted slightly better numbers (2.60 GAA / .915 SV%) but battled injuries. The Flyers are going to push for 45-plus wins this season, but the clear platoon limits both goalie’s fantasy value. Target Elliott as a low-end No.2/high-end No.3 netminder and Neuvirth should be one of the first backups off of the board.
|J. van Riemsdyk (31)||Claude Giroux (55)||Claude Giroux (77)||Wayne Simmonds (13)|
|Wayne Simmonds (28)||Jakub Voracek (53)||Jakub Voracek (75)||J. van Riemsdyk (9)|
|Sean Couturier (24)||S. Gostisbehere (45)||J. van Riemsdyk (61)||Nolan Patrick (8)|
Flyers in the DFO Top 300
- 24. Jakub Voracek — RW8
- 25. Claude Giroux — LW7
- 59. Shayne Gostisbehere — D10
- 79. Ivan Provorov — D16
- 87. Sean Couturier — C24
- 94. James van Riemsdyk — LW16
- 121. Wayne Simmonds — RW22
- 131. Travis Konecny — RW25
- 151. Brian Elliott — G24
- 184. Michal Neuvirth — G30
- 241. Nolan Patrick — C53
- 257. Travis Sanheim — D66
Predicted Metropolitan Standings
Spots 4-8 will be revealed upon the release of our previews for each respective team.
Despite having a lot up talent up front and a quality young blueline, the Flyers are in one of the toughest divisions in hockey. The Metro is headlined by the Pittsburgh Penguins and reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, but the Flyers could be the third team in the Division to get to 100-points this year. However, it could be another first-round exit for them, as they are most likely going to get the Penguins or Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs.
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