The Philadelphia Flyers failed to make the playoffs last season for only the fourth time in the last 20 years. Both Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere failed to meet expectations, while the team received inconsistent goaltending from the duo of Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth.
This is a very different looking Flyers team, however, as Mason, Brayden Schenn, Michael Del Zotto, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Roman Lyubimov, Chris VandeVelde, and Nick Cousins all moved on from the Flyers this offseason. Philadelphia were projected to own the 13th overall pick in the 2017 Draft , but jumped all the way up to number two thanks to the lottery. They had just a 4.6% chance of winning a top-2 pick, but they landed it and selected Brandon Wheat Kings superstar forward Nolan Patrick of the WHL.
Even if Patrick isn’t on the Flyers opening night roster, prospect forward Oskar Lindblom and defensemen Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin, and Robert Hagg are all likely to get a shot with the big club this season. This is a team gushing with young players looking to prove their worth. It’s clear after his rookie season, 20-year-old Ivan Provorov is a franchise defenseman, but the Flyers’ return to the postseason might depend on the seasons of cornerstone players such as Giroux and Gostisbehere.
Jeremy Roenick called out Giroux earlier this summer and pointed out how it’s up to the captain to lead this team back to the playoffs. At almost 30 years old, can Giroux still be a dominant offensive player? Can Gostisbehere put a mediocre sophomore season behind him and return to form? These are all questions that need answers.
Will the Flyers miss the playoffs again in 2017-18?