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Philadelphia Flyers’ 2024-25 Roster Is Extra Improved Than It Seems – The Hockey Writers – Flyers Administration

The Philadelphia Flyers look to principally be completed of their 2024 offseason, and it has not precisely been thrilling—they barely made any adjustments. Identical to this time a yr in the past, no person is taking discover of the Orange and Black. However perhaps they need to be. Possibly, the Flyers improved extra within the offseason than individuals notice.

Flyers Proceed Utilizing Addition-by-Subtraction Mannequin

Even after including Matvei Michkov to their season-ending roster and solely dropping Cam Atkinson, Denis Gurianov, and Marc Staal, the overall consensus is that the Flyers received’t be an excellent workforce in 2024-25 regardless of simply barely lacking the playoffs final season—they misplaced 9 of their final 11 video games, ending 5 factors out of a wildcard spot. Whereas they haven’t gone all out within the 2024 offseason, maybe they didn’t need to.

Whereas the Flyers had been technically sellers within the 2023 offseason below new normal supervisor (GM) Danny Briere, they quietly made their roster higher. In response to the on-ice stats, their two worst defensemen within the 2022-23 season had been Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo—the previous was traded for a haul whereas the latter was purchased out.

Danny Briere of the Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

By eliminating their two worst on-ice defensemen, the Flyers become among the best defensive groups within the NHL in 2023-24. Their goaltending regressed closely, in order that they weren’t precisely among the many high groups within the league at holding the puck out of their web, however the Orange and Black gave up few scoring probabilities as a complete. With out making any main additions to their roster apart from getting Sean Couturier and Atkinson again from harm the season prior, they’d efficiently gone from the seventh-worst workforce within the league to virtually making the playoffs—this actually wasn’t by chance.

Within the 2024 offseason, the Flyers are doing the very same factor. Their protection was nice, however the offense might use some work—that’s the place the adjustments start. Atkinson was one among their worst gamers all season in 2023-24 and he was purchased out, whereas the addition of Michkov ought to serve to bump two different struggling veteran forwards down or fully out of the lineup: Scott Laughton and Nicolas Deslauriers.

Mixed, these three performed 48.7 % of the Flyers’ ice time in 2023-24, that means they’d a fairly sizable position with the workforce. Atkinson being gone clearly decreases that quantity, whereas Deslauriers doesn’t actually appear to have a spot in any respect—he performed 60 video games final season. The one participant that we are able to count on to play constantly is Laughton, however he was sixth in ice time amongst forwards on the workforce—that quantity ought to go down, too.

However simply how dangerous had been these three? Certainly, they couldn’t have introduced the Flyers down that a lot. Nicely, the numbers paint a distinct image. When taking a look at anticipated targets for per 60 (xGF/60), anticipated targets in opposition to per 60 (xGA/60), anticipated targets proportion (xGF%), Corsi proportion (CF%), and plus-minus at 5-on-5 motion, the distinction between Philadelphia with these three and with out them is definitely noticeable.

After we solely embody the Flyers’ minutes with out Laughton, Atkinson, and Deslauriers final season, their numbers are among the finest within the NHL. At 5-on-5, we’ve got to go all the way in which as much as third within the NHL standings with the Carolina Hurricanes (111 factors) to seek out one of the best comparability—the superior numbers are fairly related:

Stat Flyers (With out Laughton, Atkinson, Deslauriers) Hurricanes
xGF/60 2.93 2.94
xGA/60 2.16 2.23
xGF% 57.5 56.9
CF% 55.2 59.6
Plus-minus Plus-5 Plus-23

The stats right here converse volumes. With out their “junk” minutes per se, the Flyers had been up there with among the best groups within the NHL. Relentlessly dominating when it comes to puck possession and scoring probabilities, the Orange and Black had been unbelievable regardless of their lack of expertise.

After we isolate Laughton, Atkinson, and Deslauriers, the numbers are far much less fairly. One of the best workforce comparability out there’s the Columbus Blue Jackets, who completed with 66 factors and fourth-last within the league standings. The distinction within the numbers is staggering:

Stat Flyers (Solely with Laughton, Atkinson, Deslauriers) Blue Jackets
xGF/60 2.57 2.53
xGA/60 3.01 2.95
xGF% 46.1 46.1
CF% 47.0 47.8
Plus-minus Minus-38 Minus-21

Tonight-and-day distinction is what made the Flyers a bit irritating final season. They had been a distinct workforce when these three gamers had been on the ice, however there was actually nothing they might do about it. Now, with Michkov on the workforce and Atkinson out of the image, it doesn’t need to be like this.

The Flyers used different depth gamers like Bobby Brink and Olle Lycksell instead of Deslauriers on the finish of final season, whereas Laughton solely bought bumped up the lineup due to the struggles of Couturier and Morgan Frost—he most likely received’t play forward of them after such a disappointing marketing campaign. Even Ryan Poehling might play forward of him at occasions, so there could be numerous inside change in 2024-25.

To hammer residence the Flyers’ variations with and with out these gamers, let’s go to a different desk. Since we are able to count on Laughton to remain and sure nonetheless get some first rate minutes in, eliminating him from the equation is much less correct than if we simply removed Atkinson and Deslauriers. Even nonetheless, the numbers are vastly totally different from when these final two are off the ice versus when they’re on it:

Stat Flyers (With out Atkinson, Deslauriers) Flyers (Solely with Atkinson, Deslauriers)
xGF/60 2.78 2.32
xGA/60 2.32 2.52
xGF% 54.6 47.4
CF% 53.0 48.2
Plus-minus Plus-1 Minus-22

The closest workforce comparability with out Atkinson and Deslauriers’ minutes is the Florida Panthers, whereas the closest workforce comparability solely with their minutes is the Anaheim Geese. The 2 took up 32.4 % of the Flyers’ ice time at 5-on-5, so there was a fairly profound impression given how a lot they had been enjoying.

Laughton undoubtedly had the worst season of his profession in 2023-24, so we must always really count on him to be just a little bit higher. With that in thoughts and including a celebrity prospect to the combination, the Flyers upgraded their roster greater than some would possibly suppose. The addition-by-subtraction mannequin isn’t all the time apparent on the floor, however it tends to be should you look just a little bit deeper.

Now, this isn’t to say that the Flyers might be among the best groups within the NHL in 2024-25—that’s most likely not going to occur. Heck, they may not even make the playoffs, and also you’d be proper to doubt them no less than just a little bit. However the vital factor to notice is that Philadelphia bought higher from their 87-point workforce, and it’s extra vital than it seems.

Can Drysdale Substitute Walker?

Now, this info could be considerably deceptive if we didn’t point out the lack of Sean Walker on the commerce deadline. Dealt for a 2025 first-round decide by Briere, it was a transfer that we knew from the beginning might derail the season. Finally, it did—he was arguably Philadelphia’s finest defenseman they usually didn’t purchase an sufficient roster participant to switch him.

Nonetheless, all hope may not be misplaced. Walker performed a big majority of his ice time with 31-year-old defenseman Nick Seeler, and for good cause—their outcomes collectively had been large. That is the place 22-year-old Jamie Drysdale is available in.

Jamie Drysdale Philadelphia Flyers
Jamie Drysdale of the Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Drysdale, acquired by the Flyers on Jan. 8, 2024, had a tough time adapting to the Flyers’ model early on—there are a number of explanations for this. He was battling harm all through his 2023-24 marketing campaign and even missed time with an harm that ultimately wanted surgical procedure throughout his tenure with the Orange and Black. As properly, he was the youngest participant on the workforce, enjoying a troublesome place and with out sufficient time to actually perceive play of their system.

Associated: Flyers Have been the Good Vacation spot for Jamie Drysdale

The numbers as a complete had been fairly terrible for Drysdale, however that wasn’t the case when he took Walker’s position and performed with Seeler. In truth, his numbers had been really pretty good, particularly when each he and Seeler recovered from their respective accidents through the month of March. With all of our different stats in addition to time on ice (TOI) included, listed here are the numbers:

Stat Seeler, Walker Seeler, Drysdale (Total) Seeler, Drysdale (After recovering from harm)
xGF/60 3.21 2.48 2.80
xGA/60 2.48 2.25 2.31
xGF% 56.5 52.4 54.8
CF% 53.5 48.1 49.3
Plus-minus Plus-6 Minus-6 Minus-6
TOI 642:19 104:28 88:12

We shouldn’t maintain the poor plus-minus ranking in opposition to Seeler and Drysdale, primarily due to how horrendous the Flyers’ goaltending was towards the top of the season—the opposite numbers contradict the plus-minus, anyway. Whereas the 22-year-old Drysdale wasn’t a direct alternative for Walker, there’s definitely a world the place that may be the case shifting ahead. The potential right here is thru the roof.

Regardless of being put into this not possible scenario, Drysdale confirmed some chemistry with Seeler. With an precise offseason to arrange and hopefully no extra illnesses bothering him, we might begin to see the teen soar below the veteran’s wing. If that does find yourself being the case, the Flyers shouldn’t solely return again to the place they had been final season however presumably rise above that.

Drysdale’s largest asset is his expertise, which supplies him a possible edge over Walker. His numbers may not be pretty much as good, however his skating potential and offensive instincts are elite, whereas his defensive play has an upside however continues to be a piece in progress. If the teen can begin to determine his sport a bit, we are able to see a robust Flyers workforce in 2024-25.

Now, there’s all the time the likelihood for Seeler’s regression, which makes this a two-man sport. Nonetheless, below head coach John Tortorella, the 31-year-old has been nice for a few seasons now. He had a 4.42 relative xGF% (xGF% Rel) in 2022-23 at 5-on-5, which was second amongst Philadelphia defensemen with no less than 100 minutes of ice time. Final season, his 3.55 xGF% Rel at 5-on-5 ranked third on the workforce amongst defensemen, that means he didn’t actually progress or regress. Solely rising his common ice time by 1:04, we are able to confidently assume that Seeler is the true deal—he’s now not only a fluke. There may be all the time the likelihood that he’ll worsen in 2024-25 or endure a long-term harm, however the implication right here is that that is unlikely.

Once more, all of this doesn’t imply that the Flyers are assured to make the postseason. What it does say is that they did legitimately enhance their roster. Briere didn’t make any splashes within the offseason, however the actuality is that he’s doing the identical actual factor that arrange his workforce’s shocking marketing campaign in 2023-24. This time, he’s working with an 87-point membership, not a 75-point one.

Stats courtesy of Pure Stat Trick

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Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown specializes in soccer, covering MLS, NWSL, and international competitions. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Sports Media. Olivia has written for and ESPN FC, providing thorough coverage and in-depth analysis of the sport.


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