Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 Pool Projections: Philadelphia

After the deal that saw Scott Hartnell head to Columbus for R.J. Umberger, there was an impression left that the Philadelphia Flyers were looking to re-tool their team and see if they can finally break through to some better playoff successes than they have been able to find over the past few years.  Then, when you look at their payroll and cap situation, you can see that their hands were tied and very little was necessarily going to happen, unless a bigger shake-up was to come.

I think this also rings somewhat true of the hockey pool situation in Philadelphia and what they were not able to do in the Summer makes them no more of a hockey pool gold mine than they were before and they may have possibly been made worse.

The off-season saw the Flyers make some marginal acquisitions through free agency and to this point, have failed to clear up some cap space to make a bigger deal at the end of the day.  The big trade, noted already, was a wash to the cap space and I think, was somewhat of a downgrade in the offense category, but we shall see who Umberger plays with and how he responds to that move.

The Flyers will have to lean on their veteran players and those appear to be the big ticket players for your pool team this coming year, as their depth may leave a little to be desired.

Forwards 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Defense 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Goaltenders 14/15 Proj Cap Hit
Claude Giroux 90 8.275 Mark Streit 50 5.250 Steve Mason 65 4.100
Jakub Voracek 70 4.250 Andrew MacDonald 30 5.000 Ray Emery 20 1.000
Wayne Simmonds 65 3.975 Michael Del Zotto 20 1.300
Brayden Schenn 60 2.500 Braydon Coburn 15 4.500
Sean Couturier 50 1.750 Luke Schenn 15 3.600
R.J. Umberger 40 4.600 Niklas Grossmann 10 3.500
Matt Read 35 3.625 Nick Schultz 5 1.250
Vincent Lecavalier 30 4.500
Michael Raffl 20 1.100
Zac Rinaldo 5 0.750
Jay Rosehill 5 0.675
TOTAL 66.128
Jason Akeson 30 0.575 Kimmo Timonen 10 2.000
Blair Jones 15 0.600 Chris Pronger 0 4.921
Ryan White 10 0.575
Andrew Gordon 10 0.550
Chris Vande Velde 5 0.575
Zach Stortini 5 0.575

First Round Picks

The Flyers have one lock as a first round pick in Claude Giroux and the Hart & Lindsay Trophy nominee last season may have gotten off to a slow start, but he really did come around to score at a torrid pace, locking his place in the opening round worth of selections.

There are a couple of other potential picks in the opening round, as goaltender Steve Mason finished 22nd overall in pool scoring, which would be good enough, but may still have some question marks lingering about his play.  Also, Jakub Voracek still has a role to play on this Flyers team and although I only have him in at 70 points, he does have the swing potential to move up, but I think he'd be better served as a quality second round pick.

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

I think the player with the most upside in the 2015 season for the Philadelphia Flyers will be forward Brayden Schenn, as he is now coming around at the right time to be something more for his club, age-wise.  The Flyers have some talent throughout their line-up and maybe one more player who could have been in this spot, but 2015 could be that time for Schenn to make that jump as a solid number two centre on the team and have the points to do so.  On his own merits, I can see a 60-point season and there could be a bit more, if he can make good with a winger like R.J. Umberger or Matt Read.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

The Flyers often have a wealth of talent to choose from and the 2015 season is prepared to be much of the same.  Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds will end up being some early round picks, while Sean Couturier and Umberger will be decent in the mid-rounds and there are a few late round picks that can boost the team as well.  Philadelphia should be a safe place to pick from, especially among the forwards, again this year, but they will come at a premium at the draft, like most years.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

The defense has a bit of a different look from last year, which will carry a little less punch in the scoring department, but could be a little bit more stable in front of their crease.  Mark Streit will be the leader, from the offensive perspective, and he should be good for the 50-point range, assuming the Flyers get off to a good start.  Streit should get some support from Andrew MacDonald, who the Flyers signed to an extension after acquiring him from Long Island at the deadline.  He could have a good increase in production with his new team.

Goaltending Situation

You have got to think that the Flyers have the most enigmatic pair in their crease in the NHL in Steve Mason and Ray Emery.  I think the biggest question going in is whether or not Mason has matured enough as an NHL'er over the last couple seasons to finally string together a pair of good years.  If Mason can do that, he should be good for a solid year and I don't think the Flyers will be afraid to throw Emery in a few more games, just to keep everyone fresh, so I can see decent years from both.

Team To Pick From Late?

Last season, there wasn't a lot of action late on the Flyers, a defenseman or two in the later rounds and didn't really come around in the Waiver Drafts either.  The premium paid on the better Flyers was all that was really made from this team and the Waiver Draft is a pretty good indication of that being a valid argument.  The Flyers won't have too much in their depth, but you could definitely have a look.


You may notice that you don't see Kimmo Timonen up on the top list for the team's defense.  Timonen is dealing with some blood clot issues and there hasn't been any indication that he will be ready to play come October.  He does have a possible projection, but it may be a stretch, as Tomas Vokoun missed out on the entire year with the same problem in Pittsburgh last season.  Unless there is a report that says otherwise, I wouldn't include Timonen on your list.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapThe Long Term Injury Reserve will be the Flyers' best friend again in the 2015 season.  Chris Pronger is set to spend another season on there with his concussion problems and Kimmo Timonen, which is explained above, is likely set to be there, so I assume that he is.  The Flyers will then start the season with a projected roster of 20 players and about $2.9 million in cap space.  They will need a couple forwards, at least to join the ranks, which they can do with ease, given their depth.

The Flyers do have a couple of defensemen waiting for new deals in restricted free agency, Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Manning, but they may only feature as minor projections, at best, if they re-sign.

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