It is not any secret that it has turn into a two-team race for Claude Giroux. With a full No-Move Clause in-hand, the Philadelphia Flyers captain has full management of his vacation spot and the 2 doubtless groups have been extensively reported because the Colorado Avalanche and the Florida Panthers — each groups on the high of their respective divisions and needing a considerable playoff efficiency to justify some current trades.
And nothing would actually converse extra volumes than pushing in a few of their prospect chips to amass Giroux; sacrificing some potential future and up to date high picks, to get probably the greatest gamers of the final decade on their staff for at the least the subsequent few months. But who’re these younger gamers that might discover a new house in Philadelphia as a part of the hypothetical return? I’m glad you requested.
It could be very, very apparent that if Giroux finds his means right down to Florida, that the 23-year-old Tippett will probably be a part of the commerce. He has been not noted of the lineup for the Panthers’ AHL affiliate for the final couple of video games — stopping any trade-breaking harm — and was made obtainable earlier this season. Since being drafted at tenth general in 2017, has by no means actually discovered a secure spot on the NHL roster, averaging underneath 12 minutes an evening for the 94 video games he has performed on the high degree. Not probably the most useful spot for a younger winger attempting to point out his offense.
He is clearly too rattling good for the AHL although. In 63 profession video games down within the minors, Tippett has scored 26 objectives and 60 factors, displaying that uncooked capability to supply when given the chance. If you needed to pinpoint one factor about his recreation that separates him from the remaining, it could be his knack for the web. While he’s definitely recognized for his mid-range scoring possibilities, he can even get sufficient in-tight to transform at occasions.
Tippett would definitely add to some shot-heavy prospects presently within the Flyers system (Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster, and many others.) so there’s at the least some robust photographs that this entrance workplace will reap the rewards from — hopefully.
For my cash (that is Maddie talking, breaking the fourth wall), probably the most thrilling potential get for the Flyers could be Samoskevich. The 2021 first spherical choose is in his freshman season with the University of Michigan, and whereas he’s been a bit missed there (comprehensible, given the truth that they’ve 4 of that draft’s high 5 picks on their roster) he’s placing collectively a really stable season. As we converse and the Wolverines are heading into the Big Ten Championship, Samoskevich has put up a cool 26 factors in 36 video games, largely enjoying down within the lineup due to how loaded this staff is. Down the stretch, he’s largely been enjoying alongside Dylan Duke and Jonny Beecher, a hardworking line that’s given opponents a variety of bother with their pace.
That pace has been a very nice asset to Samoskevich’s recreation—he’s a plus skater with good pace and skill to create separation specifically, however he additionally performs with tempo. He’s shifty and is ready to minimize and curl away from defenders properly, and pairing that together with his power on the puck, he’s one in every of Michigan’s higher gamers at enjoying by means of layers. His offensive recreation pops properly, he’s bought a fast launch on his shot and infrequently surprises defenders with how properly he’s in a position to hit seams in visitors. He’s been an excellent contributor for the Wolverines on the ability play, and it was good to see him elevating his recreation when given extra minutes to work with when all of Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson, and Brendan Brisson had been away on the Olympics.
But he isn’t only a one notice offensive menace, we must always notice, and he brings a constructive affect in transition, and whereas his defensive recreation nonetheless wants a little bit of sprucing, he’s a reasonably great forechecker, in a position to drive turnovers with stress, and has held up properly in being tasked with enjoying some harder matchups.
Now, there isn’t one piece of his recreation that he brings the is vastly completely different from what the Flyers have already got of their pipeline, however the full bundle is such an excellent one. Samoskevich is a participant in the identical vein as Joel Farabee in that he does a bit little bit of every thing, and he does that properly. And, as Chuck Fletcher has stated, the Flyers wish to add extra high finish expertise to their ranks, and Samoskevich would definitely deal with that.
If GM Chuck Fletcher desires to remain true to his notion that he would slightly have a fast turnaround and decide right into a retool slightly than a rebuild, then middle Aleksi Heponiemi is perhaps one younger prospect he could possibly be concentrating on from the Panthers. The 23-year-old has produced all over the place he has went. He is a one-man offensive machine that may tear by means of defenses together with his sensible play, even when he’s a bit undersized.
He was merely probably the greatest junior gamers the season after he was drafted fortieth general by Florida, scoring an insane 118 factors in 57 video games for the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos (who then went on to win the league title). Heponiemi then determined to show skilled in his native Finland, scoring 46 factors in 50 video games as a rookie over there and profitable the World Juniors together with his nation that very same yr. And after an preliminary robust rookie yr within the AHL, Heponiemi has turned up the jets this season by scoring 30 factors in 42 video games. That’s an entire lot of numbers simply to throw on the market, however it mainly says that he can simply put up ungodly numbers and has thus far by means of his profession.
His age comes with a bit bit much less of a shine, but when he’s dealt with correctly and given sufficient leash on the NHL degree, it’s straightforward to think about that he can work his technique to being a really stable contributor. Wouldn’t the centerpiece in any hypothetical commerce, however could possibly be an actual neat asset if Fletcher desires to point out Philadelphia the Giroux returns earlier than the season ends. Give a bit little bit of a showcase and put him up on the highest line, I dare you.
The Fifteenth-overall choose in 2018, Denisenko would definitely be an fascinating prospect to try to goal. Since coming by means of the forbidden door and turning skilled in North America final season, he has been barely disappointing for Panthers followers. In 45 AHL video games, the 21-year-old middle has 14 objectives and 27 factors — simply an all proper degree of manufacturing for somebody that was drafted within the first half of the primary spherical. But his recreation going into the draft was clearly an advanced degree of playmaking, so both he has modified his skillset to get extra of a scoring contact, or there’s simply not sufficient expertise round him to transform his created possibilities, contemplating he has extra objectives than assists at his present degree.
Acquiring Denisenko might doubtlessly clear up the issue of not having a high-end middle within the prospect pool, but in addition in all probability isn’t price attempting to focus on as a key prospect within the Giroux return.
If the Flyers are hoping so as to add extra to their pipeline on the defensive aspect within the return right here, one in every of their high choices is Barron. There’s some floor degree intrigue on Barron, proper off the bat, in that he’s bought good dimension (6’2, 194 kilos) and performs on the precise aspect. That’s one thing in and of itself. But, after all, Barron is nice and never simply large (one way or the other we really feel like we have to make that clear). He’s an excellent skater, his stride wants a little bit of sprucing, however the basis is simply wonderful. He performs a gentle defensive recreation, his instincts are robust and he’s in a position to shut gaps properly to defend on the frenzy in addition to break up performs within the defensive zone. He defends the blue line properly. He additionally has a clear first go and is ready to get play shifting easily up-ice in transition. In brief: there actually aren’t any big holes in his recreation on the defensive aspect.
There is probably not a ton of offensive upside to his recreation—he has the instincts to chip in when area opens up and has put up a decent 20 factors in 42 video games with Colorado within the AHL, however he doesn’t challenge to be placing up large numbers within the NHL—that’s simply wonderful, he’s efficient elsewhere. The Flyers have a number of defensemen within the system already (Travis Sanheim, Cam York, and hopefully Ronnie Attard) who can chip in properly offensively, however a participant like Barron could be a pleasant stability to that.
If you desire a winger to instill your whole offensive hopes in, it must be Oskar Olausson. The Avalanche’s most up-to-date first-round choose displayed a few of the strongest skating capability within the 2021 NHL Draft whereas enjoying for the SHL’s HV71 — the identical staff present Flyers defenseman prospect Emil Andrae performs for.
Olausson transferred over to North America, suiting up for each the OHL’s Barrie Colts and Oshawa Generals this season; and regardless of going to the junior degree, he has been described to have a pro-level poise to his recreation whereas producing offensively.
“It is not just the skating ability — his perfect form — but also how he uses that ability, the habits and patterns,” Elite Prospects lead scout David St-Louis stated earlier than he was chosen by the Avalanche at twenty eighth general. “Olausson skates with crossovers most of the time, and he weaves against defenders, changing lanes, weight shifting to fake them out; he can pierce through neutral-zone defenders at this level super easily.”
For the Flyers, this is able to make their present crop of younger wingers more and more fascinating. As famous earlier, they have already got a bounty of some shoot-first wingers in Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster, and Samu Tuomaala; however including Olausson could be a unique playmaking and stoic recreation that may slightly problem-solve than to enter the zone with a set plan. Some improvisation is at all times wanted and Olausson does that in spades. He could be an fascinating add if Giroux heads west.
Center Jean-Luc Foudy could be an…fascinating prospect to amass. An extraordinarily gifted skater, however actually dropped right down to the Avalanche within the third spherical of the 2020 NHL Draft. Someone that may weave their means by means of an opposition and be one of many extra elusive forwards on the ice, however the manufacturing is initially, a bit jarring. One of the uncommon youngsters that had been in a position to play sufficient video games within the AHL whereas the junior leagues had been on pause final season, Foudy returned to the AHL as a 19-year-old and even when he has solely scored six objectives and 18 factors in 51 video games. But once more, he’s simply an adolescent enjoying in an excellent league, so there’s definitely context wanted and a pause earlier than we begin worrying that GM Chuck Fletcher hypothetically grabbed a nothing prospect.
His inventory isn’t extremely excessive, so it’s possible that Foudy is somebody that the Avalanche could be prepared to half methods with, particularly contemplating their present NHL ahead crop. And much like nabbing Denisenko from Florida, this is able to add some talent to the present middle prospects that the Flyers do (not) have.
This could also be a well-known title for any large Flyers prospect watchers—Behrens is in his first season at Denver with our outdated pal Bobby Brink. He’s off to a fantastic begin too, coasting alongside not too far underneath a degree per recreation, with 28 factors in 33 video games. The Flyers’ pipeline is on the thinner aspect at protection, and Behrens could be a pleasant addition to bolster that. He performs fairly a thrilling recreation, with a superb first go and a clean stride, he’s a cell defender who influences the sport properly in transition. He’s a smaller participant (listed at 5’9, 178 kilos) however he performs larger than his dimension, to make use of a little bit of a cliche. He’s an aggressive defender who performs with an excellent hole, and together with his decrease middle of gravity, he’s actually laborious to push off pucks when he good points possession. And, because the stat line suggests, he’s bought a pleasant little bit of offensive upside to work with as properly. All in all, he has fairly a properly rounded recreation already, and he’s solely going to get higher as he continues to shine it. He profiles as fairly an excellent trendy defenseman, and positively could be an intriguing add for the Flyers.