Matt Read has spent one very successful season at the NHL level with the Philadelphia Flyers. During that season he tallied 24 goals and added 23 assists for 47 points and asserted himself as a viable and threatening offensive presence in the Flyers lineup. Will his success continue into the 2012-2013 season? Flyers fans can hope, but they can also read the writing on the wall.
The compelling thing about Matt Read is that he spent time playing with virtually every one of Philadelphia’s top six scorers and was able to produce points regardless of who his linemates were. Whether it was Daniel Briere and Jakub Voracek, or Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, Read was able to use his speed and lightning quick wrist shot to create scoring chances and produce points. Read was particularly good at generating and capitalizing on rebounds. Somehow the puck just found him, and it made him successful in just about whatever line combination he was put in.
So will Read be able to built off of that success and continue to grow as a top six offensive talent with the Flyers? I would say yes.
Read has shown that he can produce regardless of the players surrounding him. He’s not the type of player that will need to be on a certain line, or in a certain situation to succeed. He makes the players around him better, and with the still very capable Flyers offensive lineup he should have no trouble picking up where he left off last year.
With the exodus of Jaromir Jagr and James Van Riemsdyk, Read, who has played on both the left and right wings will have an even greater presence and a more vital offensive role in in their absence. Jagr and Riemsdyk both accounted for a significant amount of minutes and points; 24 points for Riemsdyk and 54 for Jagr. Fellow youngster Wayne Simmonds, along with Read will be counted on to build on their 40-plus point seasons and to fill the offensive void. They will no doubt be given the extra minutes with which to do so.
Read’s ascension could look similar to Giroux who was able to capitalize on a 47 point season in 2009-2010 and follow that up by filling the voids left by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. There’s no question that Read has Giroux caliber skill, and I think that going forward he’s in the perfect place for that skill to take root and develop into elite NHL talent.