Who is the Flyers’ most valuable asset?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 08: Ivan Provorov
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 08: Ivan Provorov /

The Philadelphia Flyers have a lot of young players who would bring a lot back if they were traded. But which one is the most valuable?

The Philadelphia Flyers are fortunate enough to have a wealth of talented prospects and young players who should form the team’s core for years to come. However, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are both locked into huge contracts for at least the next five seasons, and they are 29 and 28 years of age, respectively. Their performance is likely going to decline over the next few years, if it hasn’t begun to already.

As a result, the Flyers could consider trading in some of those prospects for a controllable, hopefully young star who could vault them over the top before Giroux and Voracek fully exit their prime years. But who would the Flyers’ most valuable trade chip be? The team should by no means part with any of their rising stars lightly, but if the right deal appears, no player should ever be untouchable:

More from Broad Street Buzz

Ivan Provorov

Provorov put together a strong rookie season, despite having one of the biggest deadweights in the NHL for a partner (Andrew MacDonald). He was generally decent on the defensive end for a rookie, and displayed excellent passing ability and a preternatural poise in all facets of the game.

Still only 20 years old, it is a foregone conclusion that Provorov is going to be a top-pairing defenseman and headed for a long, successful career. His entry-level contract will expire after the 2018-19 season, but Provorov would be a restricted free agent, allowing the team who owns his rights to match any offer. That means he’ll soon get a huge raise, but if his rookie year was any indication, he’ll probably deserve it.

Must Read: Why Jori Lehtera deserves your love

Nolan Patrick

You don’t get drafted 2nd overall for no reason. Patrick is the elite forward prospect the Flyers have been waiting years for, a player who looks destined to be a top-6 center with All-Star potential. There are no glaring holes in his game; he’s a great scorer and playmaker, who’s also solid defensively.

Patrick does have some red flags, though, and they all have to do with his injury history. There’s no guarantee Patrick will be able to stay on the ice long enough to become the impact player his talent indicates he is. And since he hasn’t played a single minute of NHL action yet, there is some built-in risk compared to the other two players on this list.

Shayne Gostisbehere

You’ve probably noticed by now, but Ghost is pretty good. A truly dynamic player, the offensive talent he brings to the back line will make him a force both at even strength and on the power play for years to come. Even though he took a small step back last year, it’s possible that it was caused by lingering injuries. The Flyers clearly weren’t concerned, inking him to reasonable 6-year, $27 million deal.

However, it is that very extension that may reduce his trade value compared to other players on this list. In the short-term, his higher cap number limits financial flexibility. And if Ghost is somehow unable to recapture his rookie season magic, his contract might eventually be considered an overpay.

Next: Stolarz deserves a permanent NHL role

For my money, Provorov is the most valuable player in the Flyers organization. His proven ability at the NHL level places him above Patrick, and his ultimate upside and two remaining years on his entry-level contract allow him to surpass Ghost. Who do you think is the Flyers’ most valuable asset? Is it one of these players, or someone else?