Twenty (Not So) Bold Flyers Predictions For 2021-22

Aug 19, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) celebrates with left wing Joel Farabee (49) and center Claude Giroux (28) his second goal of the game scored against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) celebrates with left wing Joel Farabee (49) and center Claude Giroux (28) his second goal of the game scored against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ristolainen puts up career best corsi  and +/- numbers

Trading the Buffalo Stank for the Philly Funk will serve Ristolainen well. He will have more help then he ever had in Buffalo, where he was usually asked to take the toughest assignments and the lion’s share of defensive zone starts.  He will be able to share the load with Provorov, Sanheim, and Ellis. This, with the Flyers forward depth, will be the high tide lifting all boats, even a barge like Ristolainen.  The bad news is he is in a contract year and the Flyers will have to pay dearly if they want him after he has a career season.

Apr 17, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /

Wade Allison Will Finish 6th or Higher on the Team in Goals

Allison was impressive with the team last season, showing a nose for the net.  I expect he may find a home, eventually, next to Kevin Hayes and will get ample opportunities to light the lamp.  It has become apparent to me that the front office values shooters, and Allison is just that.  Allison’s presence around the net will also get him a look on the powerplay and he may displace some of the old fixtures.

Carter Hart Rebounds Statistically

Hart’s numbers were not great last season, but it seemed to be more of an indictment on the team’s defensive coverage and strategy rather than the young goaltender. Hart was forced to face a large number of uncontested cross ice  one time shots, many of which snuck behind him.  With a more normal practice routine and playing schedule the Flyers should be much better in their own end, and Hart’s numbers will be buoyed.

Cam Atkinson Leads the Team in Shots

Atkinson has been a gunner his entire career, and that will continue with the Flyers.  Atkinson’s desire to shoot will replace Voracek’s hesitance, it should provide more offensive spark to the team. Look for Atkinson to be paired with a playmaker and to be gunning all season long.

Oskar Lindblom Scores at Least 40 Points

A year further away from the ravages of cancer and chemo, look for LIndblom to play more like the budding star he was before his cancer diagnosis.  With a full year of conditioning and a schedule that will allow more time for rest I expect Lindblom to look strong on and off the puck.  Lindblom can expect more help from team mates this season as well.  Last year he was paired mostly with the anemic Nolan Patrick.  A productive center will be just the tonic Lindblom needs.

Ivan Provorov Collects More Points than any Other Flyers’ Defensemen

Despite all the hype about Ellis, Provorov will log the most minutes of any Flyers defensemen.  This will include a healthy serving of power play time.  With a power play which looks to be more potent, and featuring more snipers, Provorov will see his power play assist totals sky rocket.

Felix Sandstrom Will Make his NHL Debut

Sandstrom will finally get a chance to play in an NHL game. Flyers hockey means goalie injuries and controversy.  This year Sandstrom will use the tradition to his advantage.  Look for Sandstrom to get the first look in the event of a goalie injury. The Flyers need to see what Sandstrom looks like in the NHL, as they consider whether to re-sign him. I actually think the prospect will stick and earn himself a role as Hart’s backup in 2022.

Morgan Frost Will Play in More Than 50 Games

Frost has battled injuries and roster log jams up to this point in his career.  With Nolan Patrick now in Vegas and Jake Voracek in Columbus, it looks like Frost just needs to stay healthy to claim a roster spot.  In a rare moment of optimism, look for Frost not only stay healthy but to become a key cog in the Flyers’ powerplay.