Flyers offseason recap: The young guns are coming

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: (L-R) President Paul Holmgren, SVP Bobby Clarke, Nolan Patrick, second overall pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, executive VP Ron Hextall and assistant GM and director of player personnel Chris Pryor pose for a group photo onstage during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: (L-R) President Paul Holmgren, SVP Bobby Clarke, Nolan Patrick, second overall pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, executive VP Ron Hextall and assistant GM and director of player personnel Chris Pryor pose for a group photo onstage during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Flyers had an offseason full of change and surprising fortune. Here’s a quick retrospective of an exciting couple of months.

While there are still almost two months until the Philadelphia Flyers kick off the 2017-2018 season against San Jose, most of the offseason’s action has already passed. That makes now the perfect time to look back at what the Flyers have been up to this offseason and find things to get excited about. And boy, there are lot of things. We’ll go into some of these things more in-depth in the coming days, but here’s what you missed, in case you’ve been living under some strange hockey-less rock or something.

HOLY CRAP THE FLYERS PICKED 2ND

Yep, that happened. Your Philadelphia Flyers, who were projected to own the 13th overall pick in the 2017 Draft , jumped all the way up to number two thanks to the lottery. They had a 4.6% chance of winning a top-2 pick, and they pulled it off. It’s the sort of luck that Philly fans almost never have the chance to enjoy.

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What made the Flyers’ jump especially fortuitous was that the 2017 was largely considered to be a two-player draft. Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick were the top prospects, and no one else was really in their league. Ron Hextall simply selected the player that the New Jersey Devils didn’t, which turned out to be Patrick, and the Flyers now have an elite center prospect for years to come.

Ghost gets a new deal

Despite taking a step back in terms of raw counting stats after a Calder-worthy rookie year, Shayne Gostisbehere showed enough in his sophomore season to prove that he deserved to be considered part of the Flyers’ core moving forward. Ghost accordingly received a 6-year, $27 million extension. At an annual cap hit of $4.5 million, the deal was a fair one for a young defenseman of Gostisbehere’s caliber.

A changing of the guard

Let’s just quickly run off some of the players who left the Flyers this offseason: Steve Mason, Brayden Schenn, Michael Del Zotto, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Roman Lyubimov, Chris VandeVelde, and Nick Cousins. That’s a lot of significant players leaving the team for one offseason.

However, it’s clear now that the team as constructed last year wasn’t going to get the job done. Kudos to the front office for recognizing that, and cutting their losses. Some of the losses made less sense than others (like alienating Steve Mason, who outplayed the returning Michal Neuvirth over the past two years), but it’s safe to say that many of them represented addition by subtraction for a struggling Flyers team.

Especially when you consider how many exciting young players the Flyers now have to fill those vacated roles. In addition to Nolan Patrick, forward Oskar Lindblom and defensemen Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin, and Robert Hagg will all likely see their first extended run at the NHL level this season.

Next: Fans and media aren't Giroux's problem

The Flyers will be younger and better than they were last year. If the 2017-2018 season marks the beginning of another strong era of Flyers hockey, this offseason might one day be considered the offseason where it all began.