By Dominic Lancella on June 24, 2014
After missing the playoffs in the 2012-13 season, the Philadelphia Flyers collected 94 points and placed third in the Metropolitan Division last season. That was good enough to make the postseason, but Philly was defeated in the first round by the rival New York Rangers. Despite the early exit from the 2014 playoffs, the Flyers have a lot to be excited about moving forward. Here are five players that Philly can build around for the future.
Voracek is coming off a breakout season in which he posted a career-high 62 points and was second on the team in goals and assists. The Flyers will rely on Voracek to maintain the same level of offensive production, especially after trading Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Voracek seems very comfortable in Philadelphia’s system and at age 24, he’s a great player for them to build around.
Couturier also had career highs last season by tallying 39 points and playing in all 82 regular season games. At just 21 years of age, Couturier is the youngest player on Philly’s current roster and is showing signs of a bright future. He’s a strong all-around player who will continue to become one of Philly’s most important forwards in the future.
The goalie position has been a revolving door in Philly for years, but the Flyers think they may have found their guy to solidify the position. That’s why they signed Mason to a three-year extension in January worth $ 12.3 million. Mason went 33-18-7 last season, but his potential really showed in the playoffs against New York. Mason played great and was a big reason the series went seven games. His play encourages a successful future in Philly.
Simmonds has developed into one of the main leaders of Philadelphia's team. He plays hard all the time and can make teammates around him better. His work on the power play is unprecedented by any other Flyer, as Simmonds scored 15 goals with a man advantage last season, good for second in the Eastern Conference. There’s no doubt that Simmonds will be a major component to Philly’s team moving forward.
Giroux at No. 1? Shocker, I know. He was third in the NHL in points last season after a very slow start. His great play qualified him as a finalist for the Hart Trophy. Philly’s captain is their MVP and unmistakable leader; Giroux is as good a player as any in the league to build a team around. Nobody can predict what’s to come for the Flyers over the next few seasons, but one thing’s for certain: Giroux will be the cornerstone of the operation.
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