Predicting the Flyers roster: pre-training camp edition

With training camp now underway, the battle to make the Philadelphia Flyers roster has begun. Here’s a pre-camp look at how it all might shake out.

Philadelphia Flyers training camp opens TODAY. The Flyers will take the ice at the Skate Center in Voorhees, NJ for the first time this season (except the rookies, of course). The number of storylines surrounding this year’s team is truly incredible- this is a team with a compelling blend of veterans looking to rebound and young players trying to gain a solid foothold in the NHL. It’s going to be a fascinating season to watch, and it starts now.

But before we can get to regular season hockey, the Flyers have some difficult decisions to make. Ron Hextall and the rest of the front office will have to select the 23-man opening night roster, a more challenging task this year than most considering the increased depth and competition at the bottom of the roster. Here’s our pre-training camp stab at who makes the team.

Forwards

Locks: Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Valtteri Filppula, Wayne Simmonds, Travis Konecny.

Likely to make roster: Michael Raffl, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise, Nolan Patrick

Borderline: Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Matt Read, Jori Lehtera

You can quibble about the line between “likely to make roster” and “borderline”- it’s a pretty thin line- but this group forwards seems like the expected 14 heading into training camp. There’s a lot of potential for turnover at the very bottom. Read and Lehtera’s spots seem especially tenuous, and it’s not hard to envision younger options like Mike Vecchione or Taylor Leier snatching them away with eye-opening camps.

Defensemen

Locks: Ivan Provorov, Radko Gudas, Shayne Gostisbehere

Likely to make roster: Andrew MacDonald

Borderline: Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning

Not labelling MacDonald as a lock is probably overly optimistic on my part, but maybe there’s a chance the Flyers took a good, long look at his performance last year and realized how off-the-mark they’d been. Definitely not holding my breath, though. Morin and Hagg have the inside track to the last two starting spots, with Manning filling in as the Flyers’ seventh defenseman.

Goalies

Locks: Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth

Nothing to see here. Alex Lyon would be the next man up, following Anthony Stolarz’s season-ending injury.

Who do you think will make the Flyers roster? Any players you think could surprise and make the team?