2022 NHL Draft and Free Agency
For the Philadelphia Flyers, free agency ended within five hours of the market opening. Offseason activity includes the 2022 NHL Draft, one trade, seven free agent signings and one overtime.
At first glance, Chuck Fletcher made a lot of moves. Just below the surface is a total disappointment. “Fire Chuck” was the message at the Flyers Training Center just before Fletcher stepped up to the microphone to address the media. During his speech, “Fire Chuck” was trending on social media.
Dave Scott needs to listen to the fans. A reluctance to move a bad contract with a high draft pick for an NHL superstar who wants to revive your franchise is inexcusable. Worse still, Fletcher defended his position, turning “aggressive re-equipment” into “stabilizing”.
The decisions made aren’t what the Flyers sold their fans in 2021-22.
2022 Draft Class Flyers
Fletcher, for good reason, has been buried all week. However, he deserves praise for his writing. At the Flyers’ 2022 development camp, prospects for all of his draft classes since becoming general manager remain impressive.
The most recent crop commentary suggests another good class of draft. Cutter Gauthier, Devin Kaplan and Alex Bump received their flowers in a strong camp. Both Gauthier and Kaplan arrived in Philadelphia via the US NTDP. Bump, a commitment to the University of Vermont in 2023-24, has another year of hockey ahead of him at Prior Lake High and the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.
Gauthier needs a year of refining but has all the qualities one would expect from a fifth selection overall. Bump is confident and self-aware at his age, ahead of his NHL development.
Kaplan and Gauthier have the opportunity to grow together, syncing their synergy from the US NTDP to the Flyers.
On the ice, DeAngelo is an upgrade. Ryan Ellis is “progressing,” but the likelihood of him starting the regular season on long-term injured reserve is high. Fletcher moved three picks (the 2022 fourth-round pick, the 2023 third-round pick, and the 2024 second-round pick) to acquire DeAngelo. The Carolina Hurricanes were right to make it difficult for another Metropolitan Division rival.
Comparatively, this deal for DeAngelo was better than the previous splash Fletcher made last offseason for Rasmus Ristolainen (Robert Hagg, the 2021 first-round pick and 2023 second-round pick.) Fletcher, two seasons later, is still trying to replace the production offered by Shayne Gostisbehere.
DeAngelo is a special case. He has a reputation for dissatisfying most of the teams he joins. In 2022-2023, he will have to respond to John Tortorella.
“I’m ready to do whatever the coach wants us to do, it’s his team. Whatever he says needs to be done, that’s what we’re all going to do. We all have to be bought. The only way to win in this league is to have guys bought.
Tony DeAngelo; 07/09/2022
If there’s a trainer to keep DeAngelo in check, it could be Tortorella.
He will be unfairly rocked by Flyers fans. It’s unfair because, in his role, Deslauriers corresponds to what Philadelphia wants on the fourth line. The unpopularity attached to Deslauriers surrounds the expectation placed on free will. Johnny Gaudreau should have been the only forward to join the lineup.
His role is not to score goals. It’s being very physical and changing the momentum of a match with a fight. Ironically, it’s the culture of “Broadstreet Bullies” when nobody asked for it. Once again, this is not to disturb Deslauriers. It’s an indictment of the expectations presented by the Flyers versus reality.
Deslauriers received a modified no-trade clause for two years of his four-year contract. The amended no-trade clause allows Deslauriers to submit twenty teams to Philadelphia to make a deal, which doesn’t make it as bad as it sounds.
It is the advanced version of Ristolainen. Ristolainen will contribute more on offense, but the defensive and puck possession parameters are very similar. There’s no way to water down Deslauriers’ signature; it was the wrong decision with a route available to sign Gaudreau.
Nonetheless, Fletcher got the RD job. He massively overpaid and mismanaged assets. With Nick Seeler and Attard already on the list, just about everyone would have preferred Gaudreau. Fletcher confused, deciding James van Riemsdyk and a first-round selection was too hard to pass up. Choosing to “stabilize”, Braun is an understandable rental.
Last season, Braun stood out on a poor defensive unit. His metrics reflected his performance, despite a season-long dumpster fire. The New York Rangers have shown interest, trading for Braun at the 2022 NHL trade deadline. term, signing Braun should do it.
What Fletcher says and what he does are two separate entities. In all other respects, Braun is a valued rookie, but this time around he’s as useless as Deslauriers when there was an opportunity to secure Gaudreau.
Marody, Grosenick, Belpedio, Connauton, Brooks
Five signings joined after Deslauriers and Braun. Fletcher, as he sat down to address the media, announced the signings of Cooper Marody (C,) Troy Grosenick (L,) Louis Belpedio (RD,) Kevin Connauton (D,) and Adam Brooks (C .)
Of those five rookies, Grosenick and Connauton would be favorites to break into the Flyers roster. Connauton has faltered as a forward and defenseman in 2021-22. Grosenick, signed to a one-way deal, is expected to compete with Samuel Ersson and Felix Sandstrom to back Carter Hart.
(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)