2018-19 Record (37-37-8) 82 Pts
The Philadelphia Flyers, coming off of a first-round playoff loss to arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins, fancied themselves playoff contenders and entered the 2018-19 season with high expectations. They were proven hysterically wrong, as the team struggled, albeit through injury, up until the trade deadline. The Flyers sold off longtime forward Wayne Simmonds and prospect goaltender Anthony Stolarz to the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers respectively. Despite selling off players, the Flyers heated up after the deadline and nearly made the playoffs, ultimately missing out by 16 points (jeez).
Season MVP – Carter Hart
Faced with huge expectations after being drafted 48th overall in 2015, Carter Hart disappointed when he struggled to find his footing in the AHL. Despite this, a desperate Flyers squad thrust Hart into the starting role as a last-ditch effort to save their season. In a stunning turn of events, Hart and the Flyers thrived and began winning games consistently. The rookie netminder posted a solid .916 SV%, a 2.83 GAA, and 16-13-1 record in 31 games. The Flyers ultimately missed out on the playoffs, but without Hart they wouldn’t have even been close.
Most Improved Player- Travis Sanheim
Travis Sanheim entered the season as a middling prospect looking to prove himself as a full-time NHL player. Now it’s safe to say that he fulfilled his goal. The Manitoba native recorded 9 goals and 26 assists for a total of 35 points in a full 82 games, all of these numbers are career highs. Sanheim also proved himself as a dependable defenseman, recording a 49.5 CF% (2nd of all Flyers defenders) in 19:34 while starting 52% of his shifts in the defensive zone. Sanheim’s massive steps in development likely led to the buyout of Andrew MacDonald and trade of Radko Gudas, which greatly improve the team.
Disappointment – Michal Neuvirth
This season was one of many forgettable years for Michal Neuvirth. The Czech netminder posted a dismal .859 SV% and 4.27 GAA in just 7 games for Philadelphia this season. The 30-year-old was formerly a dependable goalie but has run into some serious injury issues that have kept him from playing often. Currently an unrestricted free agent, Neuvirth will look to rehab his career or head to Europe.
Highlight of the Year
Current Depth Chart (July 11)
Top 3 Prospects
1- Morgan Frost (C)
Morgan Frost, the Flyers 1st round selection in 2017, is easily the best prospect in the Flyers’ system. The centreman dominated in the OHL this season, scoring a ridiculous 109 points in 59 games. Frost is also built for today’s NHL. He possesses fantastic speed, flashy hands, and great passing and shooting skills. Personally, I think that he makes the Flyers next year.
2- Samuel Ersson (G)
Samuel Ersson is easily one of the most underrated prospects in the entire league. The Flyers 5th round pick in 2018 provides a calm and poised presence in net that allowed him to post a phenomenal .933 SV% and 1.95 GAA in 36 games in the Allsvenskan this past season. Look for Ersson and Hart to carry the Flyers for years to come.
3- Yegor Zamula (D)
Yegor Zamula, an undrafted defenseman, has emerged as an absolute gem in the Flyers system. The Russian defender posted an impressive 56 points in 61 WHL games with the Calgary Hitmen. Zamula’s ability to produce is essentially his only redeeming factor, as he struggles mightily in the defensive zone. That being said, Zamula’s offensive ability more than makes up for his defensive deficiencies.
Players Due to Breakout
Free Agent Signings
- Chris Bigras
- Andy Andreoff
- Tyler Wotherspoon
- Jean-Francois Berube
- Andy Welinski
- Kurtis Gabriel
- Nate Prosser
- Kyle Criscuolo
- Depth on offense
- Depth on defense
The acquisitions of Hayes, Niskanen, and Braun greatly improve the Flyers roster and should allow them to get closer to playoff contention. The Flyers are trending up but I still believe that they miss out on the postseason
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Statistics, photos, and other info retrieved from gettyimages.ca, cbssports.com, eliteprospects.com, hockey-reference.com, capfriendly.com, and puck77.com