Philadelphia Flyers Year End Reviews: Forwards

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

After reviewing the goaltenders, it's time to evaluate the forwards of the Flyers. Which players had good years and which ones could've done better? Also, which ones could the Flyers part ways with in this offseason?

Top Performers

Travis Konecny

For the second year in a row, Konecny put up career highs. He also added a new element to his game by scoring six shorthanded goals to lead the NHL. He came so close to breaking the 70 point plateau for the first time.

However, much like the Flyers as a whole, he faded down the stretch. In the last 20 games, he scored just seven goals. He's the top scorer for this team, but he has yet to make the jump to "clutch player'. Maybe he'll get there or he needs to be paired up with someone who can be that player. Still, he's the best player this team has. Next year should be fun as he heads into his last contract year with Philly.

Final Grade: A

Owen Tippett

Tippett followed up a strong first full season with the Flyers with an even better second campaign. He set a career-high in goals (28), assists (25), and points (53). Much like Konecny, he disappeared down the stretch. In his final eight games, he scored one goal with three assists. Also like Konecny, he is a good scoring forward but is not a clutch player yet.

In two seasons, Tippett has shown that he is a future star. Seeing him score 30 or more goals is not unlikely. If he keeps improving, he could be an all-time great.

Final Grade: A-

Joel Farabee

Farabee is a younger version of Tippett. He also set a career-high in goals (22), assists (28) and points (50). It is not out of reach that he could eclipse 25 or even 30 goals next year. He is growing alongside Tippett and Konecny as well. He has a bright future here.

The patience in him has been paying off. He still has a high ceiling. His extension at $5 million a year could end up being a bargain.

Final Grade: A-

Tyson Foerster

Foerster made a big jump in his first season. After scoring seven points in eight games in 2022-23, he scored 20 goals with 12 assists this year. The former 2020 first-rounder is just 22 years old. He made a big impression on the team and should be a major part of this team's future.

If this is just the beginning of what he can do, Flyers fans are in for a treat. Much like Tippett and Farabee, he could be here for a long time and help this team back to respectability. He's still young and has room to improve. The more confident he gets, the more dangerous he'll become.

Final Grade: B+

Ryan Poehling

Sometimes you need someone to give you a chance. Poehling, a former first-rounder, was considered to be a bust. He played for Montreal and Pittsburgh and was given up on. The Flyers signed him last offseason to a one-year "prove it deal". Boy did he.

He scored a career-high 11 goals, with three of them shorthanded. He added 17 assists for a career-high 28 points. He was rewarded with a new contract for his efforts. He's still just 25. Maybe he can become a good cog in this team's offense. This was probably the team's best offseason move last year.

Final Grade: B

Needs Improvement

Morgan Frost

Frost has been an enigma all year. At first, he was scratched because...we don't know. The excuse was that other players were playing well and there wasn't room. When he did play, at first, he was ok, at best. He turned it on later in the season, Again, he faded down the stretch, scoring just four goals in March and April (22 games). He's a bit streaky and inconsistent, but then he shows flashes of brilliance here and there.

Some wonder if he and John Tortorella didn't gel. Both sides deny it. Is it true? Who knows? While I still think he has value, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Flyers trade him this offseason. He's a good player, but has yet to make that jump to "great player".

Final Grade: B

Sean Couturier

At the beginning of this year, we were all holding our breath to see if Couturier could play again after not seeing him take the ice in 22 months. He started the season fairly well, if not a bit rusty. But as the season progressed, he changed. He looked like a shell of himself.

It's not that he was bad. He wasn't. He just wasn't Couturier. It was to the point where he started get less playing time and was scratched. Maybe he wasn't ready to play a full season. Maybe next year will be better. However, if he can't be the Couturier of old, should the Flyers unload him while he still is worth something?

Final Grade: B-

Scott Laughton

Laughton was another big surprise this year and not in a good way. Last season, while playing on the top lines due to injuries, he took off and had his best statistical season. This year, he took a step back. He scored 13 goals to last year's 18. He had 39 points to last year's 43. Defensively, he had just 19 takeaways to 35 last year.

Maybe it was because he was dropped back to a third-line role. Maybe this is who he is. He's not a bad player. He is a good bottom-six role player and is popular in the locker room. However, Laughton is not a star and never will be. Some teams have inquired about him over the last year or so in the offseason and the trade deadlines. Maybe the Flyers should think about dealing him this summer.

Final Grade: B-

Garnet Hathaway

Much like Poehling, this was a low-risk, high-reward signing. The veteran had one of his best seasons in years, being one of the most physical men in the NHL, leading the team with 326 hits. He scored seven times while assisting on 10 others.

He is an interesting one for the future of this team. He has one year left and could make an attractive trade piece. Or, if the Flyers like his play better, they could keep him and trade-off Nicolas Desaluriers.

Final Grade: B-

Bobby Brink

In what was essentially a rookie year for him, Brink did well at times. He scored 11 goals with 13 assists. The thing with him is that he was extremely streaky. In one stretch in October, he scored seven points in five games. He also scored one point in nine games in January.

The kid belongs in the NHL. He needs some confidence. He's going to make mistakes, but he will learn from them if given the opportunity. He will also be only 23 when the new season begins. Give him some time and he will show what he can do. For a rookie season, it was decent.

Final Grade: C+

Noah Cates

Last year, he was a big-time surprise and a budding star. He drew comparisons to Couturier. This year was a completely different story. To be fair, he did struggle through injuries and was limited to 59 games. He also wasn't playing the top line like he did last year.

We'll have to chalk this up to the injuries. Hopefully, he can rebound and bounce back. He's a young guy and has a lot of promise.

Final Grade: C

Lacked Improvement

Nic Deslauriers

After being one of the most physical guys in the NHL, finishing in the top five in hits and penalty minutes the last few years, Deslauriers took a step back. He played in 60 games this year but was a healthy scratch for many of those. He played in just eight games since March 1 and only one game in April.

I'm not sure if he did something to get on Tortorella's bad side or if they were trying to go with a squad that wouldn't get penalized as much. The fourth line he started on at the beginning of this year, with Poehling and Hathaway, was strong and physical, but feisty enough to score. But Deslauriers was benched while Hathaway, who led the team with hits and penalties, wasn't. He has two years left on his contract, but you have to wonder if he will be here in September.

Final Grade: C-

Cam Atkinson

To say this year was a disappointment for Atkinson is an understatement. He scored eight goals in the first 16 games. He scored five the rest of the way, all coming in January. He just disappeared, literally and figuratively.

Maybe he was hurt and was hiding it. Maybe last year's injuries sapped all of his strength. He was benched midseason and it briefly woke him up. As his scoring drought continued, his playing time was drastically reduced. In his last 13 games, he was relegated to playing less than 15 minutes. Then he was scratched altogether. He may have played his last game as a Flyer. While it's nice to see that he is healthy, he might not be able to do it anymore.

Final Grade: D+

Olle Lycksell

It's hard to determine where Lycksell stands. At the AHL level, he can tear it up, and is a big reason why the Phantoms are in the playoffs. With the Flyers, he has yet to make a big splash. To be fair, he also was just a sixth-round pick. Saying he lacked improvement might be tough, but he didn't stand out either.

He has value as a depth piece, but perhaps nothing more than an injury callup. He'll be 25 when the new season begins this fall. He may have something to offer this team, however, the team also needs room for those players who can make a bigger difference. It could be that he needs playing time to prove himself. For now, he is cheap and under control for one more year.

Final Grade: D+