Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Philadelphia Flyers 2016-17 season preview
The Philadelphia Flyers weren't a huge team this off-season but they made some moves. They lost forwards Sam Gagner (CBJ) and Ryan White (ARI) but replaced them with the signings of Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon. Both are solid penalty killers with Gordon being an amazing faceoff man and Weise can also add some scoring to the table. When defenseman Evgeny Medvedev signed with the KHL, the Flyers didn't need to sign anybody because former first round pick Ivan Provorov is going to make the team.
Forwards Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds lead a solid offense. Forward Travis Konecny, 19, is looking to have a dominate rookie season playing with Voracek. Also, Calder finalist (best rookie) and powerplay specialist Shayne Gostisbehere leads a defense that can use work. Provorov, also 19, adds youth to an aging defensive core. Goalies Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason are both in their prime at age 28 and are solid goalies.
In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Flyers selected C German Rubstov with the 22nd overall pick. Rubstov can be a solid second line center behind Claude Giroux or he can be moved to the wing.
The Flyers projected lines look like this:
Brayden Schenn (Supended)- Claude Giroux- Wayne Simmonds
Travis Konecny- Sean Couturier- Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl- Pierre-Edouard Bellmare- Dale Weise
Chris VandeVelde- Nick Cousins- Matt Read
On defense is:
Shayne Gostisbehere- Andrew MacDonald
Ivan Provorov- Radko Gudas (Suspended)
Brandon Manning- Mark Streit
Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth are in net. D Nick Schultz and F Boyd Gordon are scratched and F Scott Laughton and D Michael Del Zotto are injured.
Finally, for my prediction, the Philadelphia Flyers, a team slowly on the rise, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.