The Philadelphia Flyers are in the middle of a rebuilding process. They are in need of a lot of help, and they are looking for it from their very own six-pack of NHL talent. With that in mind, it is interesting to take a look at what they have recently acquired through the draft and free agency, as well as what should be in the near future. Of course, all of this hinges on whether the Flyers make the right moves.
First, let’s discuss the rookies that the Flyers have selected in the recent drafts. One of the biggest surprises in the draft was acquiring forwards prospect Travis Sanheim from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for two second-round draft picks in 2021. At the time, many believed that the Flyers would use those picks to either get a more developed player like Brayden Schenn or a player who could play next to Couturier in the top-six. Instead, they found a very intriguing player with the skill to play at the top two lines in the league right away: Travis Sanheim. He has blossomed into one of the best shutdown centers in the league over the last three seasons, and he is developing into a leader both on the ice and off.
Another exciting player that the Flyers landed in the offseason was Matt Read. He is one of the brightest young defensemen in the game, and he has also developed into a very good penalty killer. If he can become a true number two center, then he will give the Flyers a huge boost on the defensive end and help make the team a more formidable competitor.
The Flyers didn’t have one offensive star during the season, but they did manage to score a lot of goals. The fact that they had so much depth means that the players can each contribute something valuable to the club. That’s something that most teams can’t boast. That’s why it was so important that the Flyers didn’t spend too much on unproductive players on the roster, because they have many capable players that can make the necessary contributions if given the chance.
One player that had a huge impact on the season was Flyers forward Bobby Clarke. His seven goals scored were a career high for him. He also added three assists, putting him among the leaders in the league. That kind of performance from Clarke was a result of his confidence. He felt that he was capable of doing great things in the season, and he wanted to prove it. After all, this was his first full season in the NHL, and he was coming into a new situation.
Forward Mark Messier played well during the season, but didn’t really do what he’s capable of doing during the season. He would miss games with an upper-body injury, but still managed to play well. When he did play, he was often the best player on the team. That is why the Flyers finished second in the Atlantic Division. That team, plus the Islanders, became the first team in modern history to go to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Flyers were not a good hockey team throughout the season, finishing only fourth or worse in five of their twelve games. They were outshot most of the time, especially in the first round against the defending champion Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers’ best player, though, was still Martinrueous, who had an incredible season. He had 25 goals, which ties him with Gretzky for the most in a single season in the NHL.
The Flyers finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. It was one of the worst finishes in many decades for a team finishing fifth. The New York Islanders finished second, behind the Montreal Canadiens. The Islanders were a team in need of an infusion of young talent, which they acquired in the off season, but their season was not as fun as the Flyers. That will be the team to come back next year, when the Eastern Conference will once again be too tough for the Flyers.