The Flyers look to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
Line 1: Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Travis Konecny
To begin, this line was one of the most potent lines in the NHL when they were together for a short time last year. Centered by 30 goal scorer, Sean Couturier; this line is a perfect one to roll out against other top lines.
Oddly enough, Giroux made the switch to the wing in 2017 and should stay there for the rest of his career. The big move may have saved his career, as people were talking about Giroux declining. Couturier is this team’s number one center and Flyers fans should be thrilled about that. With two guys of that skill on the same line and adding a guy like Konency with his speed and rocket of a wrist shot, look out NHL.
If Konecny finds some puck luck, mark him down for 30 goals.
A line with two 75+ point scorers in Giroux and Couturier. Add in a young budding star in Konecny, and the Flyers should love what they see from their first line.
Line 2: Oskar Lindblom – Kevin Hayes – Jake Voracek
In addition to having a bonafide center in Couturier, the Flyers went out and traded for and signed Kevin Hayes to a seven-year deal with a value of $7.1 million.
Rejoice! The Flyers finally have a proven number two center behind Couturier, giving Couturier’s line better matchups.
Hayes is coming off a solid 2018 first half with the New York Rangers putting up 42 points in 51 games. Hayes was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a first-round pick at the NHL trade deadline. He scored 13 points in 20 games, adding two goals and an assist for the Jets in the playoffs.
This is a really heavy line to roll with, Alain Vigneault, the Flyers’ new head coach might want to throw somebody else in the wing spot over Lindblom. To start, coming off a successful rookie year, Oskar Lindblom played really well last year putting up 33 points in 81 games.
Ex Flyers coach Scott Gordon praised Lindblom all of last year for how well he could come off the boards with the puck and how strong he is down low. It’s very telling that a young guy like Lindblom already has the mental aspect of the game down.
Add in a veteran 70+ point scorer like Jakub Voracek and this line has the potential to be dangerous.
Line 3: James Van Riemsdyk – Nolan Patrick – Morgan Frost/Joel Farabee
Above all, this combination should have made you sit up in your chair a little bit. This line has the potential to be elite. Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee will walk into rookie camp Saturday looking to continue making a good impression on the Flyers and eventually make a case to make the team.
Frost (20) & Farabee (19) are both extremely young and raw talents and there’s no reason one of them can’t make a case to be on this team. On the other hand, they’re both young, so a little AHL time to get used to the speed of the game wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Signing with the Flyers in the 2017 offseason, JVR looks to continue his success adding to his 30 goal season in 2018. Earlier, I mentioned AV might want to put someone in Lindblom’s spot on the second line wing, and JVR might be that guy. Someone who can play anywhere you need him in the lineup and produces. To sum up, a veteran like JVR with younger guys in Patrick and Frost/Farabee would mesh better for the entire team.
The backbone of this line is Nolan Patrick. The signing of Hayes is so much more than just him. The signing drops the young Patrick to third-line center, giving him better matchups the Flyers hope he can take advantage of.
Giving Patrick more room to breathe and focus on just playing hockey will hopefully benefit him. If you ask around the NHL, he is a strong breakout candidate for the Flyers. If Patrick has a career year, GM Chuck Fletcher deserves some credit for putting him in a better position to succeed.
Line 4: Michael Raffl – Scott Laughton – NAK/Rubstov
There is a very good chance German Rubtsov makes this team, his name has floated out there a ton this summer. He was playing great hockey last season for the Adirondak Phantoms until he suffered a season-ending injury.
Michael Raffl fits best on this team right now as a fourth-liner and that’s exactly where he should be. Yes, he’s a swiss army knife who can play all over the lineup, but the days of him as a top-six player are over. He drives play well and is a great forechecker, he’s a perfect guy to have on the fourth line.
Scott Laughton was the most consistent Flyer last year. How many times did you say to yourself “Wow there’s Laughton again making a play.” The Flyers agreed with you and rewarded him with a two-year, $4.6 million dollar contract.
Another great fourth line, high energy guy who can put the puck in the net from time to time. But, his days like Raffl’s, as a top-six guy are over. Hopefully.
Nicholas Aube Kubel is another name I saw floating around this summer with regards to making the Flyers. Already getting a taste of the NHL last summer, putting up zero points in nine games for a plus-1 rating. A small, fast player who loves to get in the corners and come away with the puck would be a nice compliment to Raffl and Laughton who are both not the fastest players in the league. It would make that line a little quicker and more skilled then say with Tyler Pitlick.
Chris Stumps is a Philadelphia Flyers contributor at Overtime Heroics. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisStumps
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