The Flyers have historically been a pretty good team to choose from, for our hockey pool purposes, they spend a lot of money on top end free agents, trying to put a winner together right away. In recent years, they have slowly come around to the new way of thinking, going big into the entry drafts and NCAA free agent pool, sorting through talent to try and build a team within. Of course, with a whole lot of luck, they got to add a top prospect in this year's draft, who should fit in quite nicely with some of their young superstar blueline talent, that they already have.
Now, heading into the 2018 season, the blend of seasoned veterans and brash, unrefined talent will have a new number one goalie behind them and this side will have a slightly different feel to it than previous years. There has to be a level of excitement through this organization, especially given how much talent they now have coming up the ranks that is 25 years old and younger. Of course, the Flyers won't be through with both Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux for a long while yet.
Table last updated on August 6th
Most Intriguing or Breakout Player
The Flyers truly caught a huge break, when their numbers came up at the draft lottery, after the 2017 season concluded. They got to move up to the 2nd overall pick and that's where they picked their most intriguing player for the 2018 season, forward Nolan Patrick.
Patrick is described as one of the most NHL-ready players with the best hockey sense of the bunch and he gets to come in and learn from guys like Voracek and Giroux, so he can apply these skills on the big stage.
It will undoubtedly be interesting to see who Patrick lines up with to start the season and where he is going to find some chemistry. From the articles and reports I've read and given that he's on a team with some good veterans already, I think he's poised to have a very decent season.
First Round Picks
The Flyers are a team that should have a couple of potential opening round draft picks, but they don't. They had some consideration at this time last year, but they fell short again, so now they don't get that sort of inclusion. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek should be much better than these projections, but there has been no evidence to support that claim lately. They may have some skill sets transferable to Patrick, but I don't see them excelling in the 2018 season either.
Other Pool Worthy Forwards
The Flyers moved out Brayden Schenn to make room for Nolan Patrick, but they still have Wayne Simmonds, Valtteri Filppula and Sean Couturier, with still some wiggle room for sophomore Travis Konecny and veteran Michael Raffl, both on the cusp and have a chance to move up. The Flyers could use all the offense they can muster this year, especially if they want to compete in their incredibly tough division.
Other Pool Worthy Defense
The Flyers offer up two of the most impressive offensive defensemen in the league, while one now starts season three, the other is going to be a featured sophomore. Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov are ridiculously young and ridiculously talented. These guys are going to be great pillars to stand on for this club, but tread a little bit lightly on Provorov, just in case. After a good World Cup and a decent 2017 season, Radko Gudas is starting to establish himself as a good everyday guy on the Flyers blueline.
I think we're supposed to assume that Brian Elliott is supposed to be the new number one guy for the Flyers and I think he should be, but as we've seen throughout his career is that he's underappreciated, everywhere he has been, and there's no reason why the Flyers should be any different. The Flyers haven't announced the health status of Michal Neuvirth yet, but assuming he is good to go, I still think the Flyers will be quick to pull the chute when things aren't quite going their way and Neuvirth gets some added work.
Team To Pick From Late?
There are some definite wild cards in this Flyers lineup, looking at Scott Laughton, who needs to step his game up to stick around and NCAA signing last spring, Mike Vecchione, who saw a couple of games before the end of the year. Huge gambles on a poolie's part, but the Flyers could really use them and if they're in the opening night lineup, that could be a big step for both.
Unsigned Players and Salary Cap
One unsigned prospect headed off to Europe this year instead of signing and heading to the AHL, but that's about all that the Flyers have outstanding and it's nothing to worry about.
By my count, the Flyers have $8.1 million in unused space, so if something isn't going their way early on this season, I would almost expect them to pull the trigger on something huge and something that they could take on something big to make some real waves. The idea is unlikely, but the Flyers have to make the playoffs here soon, so something big needs to happen.
The Flyers didn't have a great deal of injury concerns at the end of last season, Matt Read did suffer an upper-body injury late and missed the end of the year, but he should be ready; Michal Neuvirth finished the year with concussion symptoms and his status going forward is somewhat unclear; while minor-league defenseman Samuel Morin had wrist surgery at the end of the season, but he should be ready to fight for a roster spot in camp.