The Philadelphia Flyers were able to get contributions from all over their line combinations last season. After seeing what their young emerging stars can do, the Flyers find themselves in a very good situation to get some offense from what I believe could be one of the youngest lines in the NHL.
Sean Couturier: Couturier broke out in the playoffs last season but his regular season stats were not bad for a player who played mainly the third and fourth line. Couturier recorded 27 points in 77 games. In the playoffs, Couturier was used to shut down players such as Evgeni Malkin. Couturier also recorded a hat trick in the first round of the playoffs. He should continue to grow into a great young player. Putting him on the third line can only give him more opportunities to produce.
Brayden Schenn: Schenn was mentioned in my last post on the Flyers’ second line. Putting Schenn on the third line is not a knock to his ability, it may actually help him build more confidence with his young teammate and possibly his new line mate. After Schenn’s breakout in the 2011-2012 playoffs, the Flyers’ were more than satisfied with the trades they made last summer.
Whichever player does not make the third line for the Flyers this season, they will most likely be a lock for a spot on the fourth line.
Ruslan Fedotenko: Fedotenko is back with the Flyers for the first time since his brief stint from 2000-2002. Fedotenko made a couple of pit stops with the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the New York Rangers. He has won two Stanley Cups in his career so far. By putting a veteran player who can still produce at least 25-35 points with two young players can only be beneficial to the Schenn and Couturier. I believe that Fedotenko could fit the third line very well.
Eric Wellwood: Wellwood, a 22-year old winger, made a couple of appearances this season for the Flyers. Wellwood has a unique quality that could make him a key component to the offensive attack of this third line. Wellwood is quick on the skates and can fly down the ice with ease. Putting him on a line with Schenn and Couturier can only open up more space for them to operate and to get fast break chances. By putting Wellwood on the third line, the Flyers could move Fedotenko to the fourth line, which could give the Flyers a very physical checking line.
All in all, the third line for the Flyers could be a big scoring line. If Schenn and Couturier can continue to grow into great players, which they have shown flashes of last season, then the Flyers may have struck gold with a young core.
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