Philadelphia Flyers Believe In The Core

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Ivan Provorov poses for a photo with team executives after being selected as the number seven overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Ivan Provorov poses for a photo with team executives after being selected as the number seven overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

As the 2016/17 season winds down, Philadelphia Flyers fans must believe in the core as it’s looking more and more like playoff hockey is a pipe dream this season. 

It’s now time to believe in the core more than ever.  Since General Manager Ron Hextall was appointed in 2014, the team has gone through a transformation. The old days of spending big money on free agency, big trades, firing coaches three games into a season are long gone. Flyers fans aren’t used to losing, that’s apparent, rebuilding isn’t in the franchise’s “DNA”.

Some historical background into the Philadelphia Flyers and their winning ways.

"“It’s been a tough couple of years for sports fans in Philadelphia, but are the sports teams in the city of Philadelphia historically bad? “The Philadelphia Flyers were part of the first wave of expansion teams that came in 1967.  In the 49 year history of the hockey club, the Flyers have only missed the playoffs 10 times, meaning the Flyers have made the playoffs 80% of the time in their history.  The Flyers have been to 8 Stanley cup finals, winning twice. They have appeared in 16 conference finals. The Flyers have a career record of 1895 wins, 1312 loses, 457 ties, and 136 OTL.  In the playoffs, they possess a record of 219 wins and 208 losses. The Flyers were also the first expansion team to every win a Stanley Cup in the history of the NHL.” – Joel Vanderlaan"

Everyone wants to win; that’s why losing is so painful.

The Flyers will win again

It’s hard for me personally to watch the Flyers struggling but they will win again. Let me tell why I’m sure of this.

There’s an army of prospects coming; ESPN rated the Flyers the 8th best prospect pool in hockey before the season started.  In fact, after an impressive World Juniors and regular seasons from the Flyer’s prospects,  that ranking could be higher.   Craig Button and Bobby McKenzie of TSN rave about the Flyer’s impressive prospect pool.  Philadelphia had the most prospects at this year’s World Juniors but mind you, Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov both nineteen now aren’t considered prospects anymore due to NHL status.

Philadelphia Flyers
Oct 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Travis Konecny (11) celebrates his first NHL goal with right wing Matt Read (24) and defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

But will these prospects live up to the hype? Sam Morin is a unicorn to some and is always talked about as being a top NHL defenseman but has yet to play in the NHL.  It’s unheard of in this day and age to have the 11th overall pick not playing in the NHL four years after being drafted. Everyone taken in the 2012 1st round has played at least two seasons in the NHL except Morgan Klimchuck and Sam Morin.  Klimchuck was the 28th overall pick.

Trust me you’ll be glad Morin was developed and not rushed. We have all seen too many players rushed to the big leagues and they weren’t able to live up to their potential.

Prospect Depth

One thing that makes the Flyers prospect pool is its depth.  Ron Hextall is aware that not every prospect will make it to the Flyers NHL roster so that is why he has invested in multiple picks at each position.

Top prospects drafted since Hextall has been General Manager:


Nicolas Aube-Kubel

2 round 48th overall 2014

Oskar Lindblom

5th round 138 overall 2014

Travis Konecny

1st 24th overall 2015

German Rubtsov

1st 22nd overall 2016

Pascal Laberge

2nd 36th overall 2016

Wade Allison

2nd 52nd overall 2016


Travis Sanheim

1st 17th overall 2014

Ivan Provorov

1st 7th overall 2015


Felix Sandstrom

3rd 70th overall 2015

Carter Hart

2nd 48th overall 2016

The prospects above are considered Blue-chip or B level prospects that have been added under Ron Hextall. The Flyer’s prospects are also more extensive than this; Hextall has drafted three goalies, four defensemen and nine forwards over three drafts who are being developed not currently rated as Blue-chip or B level prospects.

Philadelphia Flyers
Sep 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Philippe Myers (61) against the New York Islanders during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

You can also add in undrafted free agents Philippe Myers (defenseman) and Alex Lyon (goaltender); both are highly sought after prospects.

Myers was rated the 10th best prospect not in the NHL by TSN’s Craig Button.

Lyon has impressed in Lehigh Valley in his rookie year in net, posting a 2.64 Goals against average along with a .914 save percentage in 38 games.

Sam Morin, Anthony Stolarz, and Robert Hagg are top prospects selected under former GM Paul Holmgren.

You also have an established group of NHL’ers

that includes the like of Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier and up front, Shayne Gotisbehere and Ivan Provorov on the back-end.

Just wait until the prospects and NHL talent mix.  Believe in the core, it will be worth it.  This team is on the right path even though it’s tough to believe it sometimes.