Homegrown Heroes

The Philadelphia Flyers have entered a new era, one highlighted by excitement, talent, and most importantly, youth. With the trade of Dale Weise and Christian Folin and the recall of Phil Myers, they officially have the youngest average age in the NHL (25.73) and the most players under the age of 25 (10).


What’s more impressive is that, out of the twenty one players currently active, sixteen were brought into the National Hockey League by the Flyers either through the draft or through free agency.

The only five players who aren’t homegrown talent are Andrew MacDonald, Radko Gudas, Jake Voracek, Phil Varone and Wayne Simmonds. Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, who are both currently on the injured reserve list, were also brought into the league through other organizations.

Even more importantly, it seems as though more of that homegrown talent is still on its way. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, Mark Friedman and Isaac Ratcliffe all seem poised to contend for a roster spot in the next year or two. Jay O’Brien, Linus Hogberg, Noah Cates, Tanner Laczynski, Wyatt Kalynuk and Jack St. Ivany aren’t too far behind them. German Rubtsov and Wade Allison have suffered serious injuries that have hindered the speed of their development. If they can remain healthy, they could also join that group.

So what does this mean for the Flyers? It means the wait is almost over. For the past few years, Ron Hextall and company focused primarily on drafting and developing prospects and building for the future. While Hextall is no longer controlling the ship, for good reasons, he certainly left the organization with one of the best-stocked cupboards in the NHL.

Some of these prospects may not turn into legitimate NHL talent. If they all develop as predicted, there will be too much talent for the Flyers organization to keep. Regardless, this leaves Chuck Fletcher in the incredibly fortunate position to make the moves to contend for the next decade.

Fletcher’s team, most likely, will be lead by the best of the best that this organization has grown from their own ranks.


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