As we get closer to the trade deadline, you have to wonder: Are any Flyers untouchable? There have been some major pieces being moved over the last few days. But is there anybody on this team that should not be moved at any time for any price right now? Looking at the roster, I’ve divided up the players into four categories.
Not included here are Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, and Cam Atkinson due to their injuries this year. However, there is some optimism that Coots could return. Because of what he means to this team, I would rank him as an untouchable player.
Please, Take Them
Kieffer Bellows, Felix Sandstrom, Justin Braun, Patrick Brown, and James van Riemsdyk
Bellows brings very little to the table. The Flyers have tried to put him on waivers several times and nobody will even take him for free. But if someone will take him, please do. Likewise, Sandstrom has shown very little growth in net at the AHL and NHL levels.
Braun is a decent defender who should be traded away to a contender when he can be useful. Since December, he’s played sparingly. Holding onto him makes little sense. Brown has worth, but could probably be a valuable depth piece for a contender with a lot of young players; like Minnesota or Seattle. Since he is a free agent in June, it’s better to get something for him.
Nothing against JVR, but his time here is done. He is one of the more valuable trade pieces the Flyers have and Chuck Fletcher should, hopefully, bring in a decent return for him.
Wade Allison, Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Tanner Laczynski, Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton, Olle Lycksell, Zack MacEwen, Ivan Provorov, Rasmus Ristolainen, Travis Sanheim, and Nick Seeler
It’s not that these guys are bad, but if someone is calling up with a good offer, it might be a good idea to listen. Allison, Laczynski, and Lycksell are young. They might have a lot of upside. They may not. But if someone wants them, it might be worth seeing what they are offering.
MacEwen is having a career year. It’d be interesting to see where he’d be right now if it weren’t for breaking his jaw in a fight last month. He’s soon to return and the Flyers could use his toughness. I’d keep him, but if someone were to offer something solid for him, you might have to take it under consideration.
Frost has struggled to show whatever it is the Flyers saw in him in 2017. Farabee has struggled this season too. They are still young and may turn it around. OR, they could be the 2023 versions of Matt Read and Nick Cousins. Those guys started off hot, but never improved on their games. If that is the fate of Frost and Farabee, it might be wise to sell high while you can.
Hayes still has some value and has improved his game since his benching. Rumors have been swirling every since. If he can stay, it would be great. But if there is a great, and I mean great offer on the table, Fletcher should listen.
Laughton has been a good, steady player. He’s a great third line center. He is not a scoring threat. He is a very reliable guy. It would hurt to lose him, but again, if a good offer is presented, it might be worth it.
As for for the defenders, Provorov, Ristolainen, Sanheim, and Seeler, just about every team that is contending is in the market for a good blueliner. The Flyers have four guys who could fit that bill. Seeler might be the easiest sell because he is the cheapest and has been playing at a high level this year. Sanheim is young and could drum up a lot of support for that reason alone. As for Risto and Provy, they have higher salaries, but if Fletcher can get a great return on them, it might be worth it.
No, No, No…….Unless the Deal is Really Sweet
Carter Hart, Samuel Ersson, Travis Konecny, Noah Cates, Tony DeAngelo, Elliot Desnoyers, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Owen Tippett
The goalies are playing well. Having two good goalies is a great luxury. I would never want to trade Hart or Ersson, but if some team that really, really, really needs a goaltender offers up a slew of draft picks and/or top prospects, you have to listen.
I never thought I’d have Tippett here. At the beginning of the year, he had done little to impress me. However, he’s shown a lot of growth this season. He might be on the verge of breaking out. He’s worth hanging onto…unless there is a steep offer.
Likewise Cates is playing above his station right now. He has a high ceiling and is only getting better. Somebody out there may try to snooker Fletcher in a trade for him. Any trade has to be at a high price for him.
Deslauriers has brought an intense physical presence with him to the Flyers. More importantly, his physicality is protecting the younger players on the team and giving them confidence. That alone makes him very important to this team.
DeAngelo is probably more safe than the other defenders. Desnoyers, while newer to the NHL, has performed very well at the AHL level and deserves to be given a shot.
I have seen some people put forth that since Konecny is the best player on the team and has been playing at a high level, he could fetch the most in a trade. That is true. However, it would not be wise to trade the only player who seems to score on a consistent basis. For me, it would have to be multiple first rounders to start. He’s very close to being untouchable.
Not For Any Price
York’s the only guy that I would say is untouchable. In 33 games, he has one goal and 11 assists. I know that doesn’t sound like much. However, he is a plus 6 on a seventh place team that has seemingly given up. He is playing at a top level. More importantly, he is 22 years old. He’s going to have a long career and is probably the team’s best overall defender. He could probably get a lot in a trade back, but he is the future of this team.