Flyers

Flyers prospect Wyatte Wylie in good company with Everett Silvertips

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Christina Daly/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers prospect Wyatte Wylie in good company with Everett Silvertips

Carter Hart had almost become synonymous with Everett.

He spent four seasons with the Silvertips, impacted the community and became the first player to ever win the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy (WHL's top goalie) three times and CHL Goalie of the Year two times.

"He was the pride of Everett," Wyatte Wylie said.

As Hart took the Flyers by storm in 2018-19, Wylie quietly plugged away in Everett, Washington, continuing the orange and black connection with the Silvertips. Wylie, a 6-foot, 190-pound defenseman, turned into a good reason for Flyers fans to continue keeping tabs on Everett. The Flyers' 2018 fifth-round draft pick enjoyed his best season of junior hockey with 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) in 67 regular-season games.

Among WHL blueliners, Wylie was tied for seventh in plus-minus at plus-33 — the same mark as Bowen Byram, who was the best defenseman in this summer's draft and went fourth overall to the Avalanche. Yes, plus-minus is a debated stat with many factors — the role of the player, the talent of the team, etc. — but that's impressive company.

"I really take pride in that," Wylie said last month at Flyers development camp. "I know it all depends on who you play with and stuff like that, but just to be in the plus category is a big upside. I really worked on that, made sure I kept the puck out of my end and I could focus on the other parts of my game."

Like adding offensive production to his arsenal. Wylie has always been regarded for sharp play and decision-making in his own zone. But during 2018-19, he also saw a 16-point increase from 2017-18, despite playing five fewer regular-season games.

"I knew I had to improve in all aspects of my game," Wylie said. "Coming back from [2018 development] camp, I took as much as I could, the stuff they taught me about stick-handling, everything like that — it really helped me improve my offense because you're ready for that first pass out of the zone because you're not stick-handling, you're ready to send it."

Similar to Hart, Everett holds special meaning to Wylie. Not only is it where he has played hockey for five of the past six years, but it's also the city in which he was born. Wylie was the first player ever drafted out of the town, which is about a 30-minute drive from Seattle. 

He and the folks in Everett are proud of Hart and not surprised by the goalie's ascension.

"It's awesome for him, everybody knew it was coming — it was just a matter of time," Wylie said. "He's an amazing goalie and I'm excited to see him."

The 19-year-old Wylie is eligible for a fourth and final season at the junior level. He has not yet signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers. At development camp, Wylie was uncertain if he would be returning to Everett for one more year. Things can change, possibly in training camp.

"If I end up going back there, I've just got to improve from last year and work on all aspects of my game," Wylie said. "Come back the next year ready to go."

It would also mean another year of keeping tabs on the Silvertips.

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Travis Konecny sets new career high as Flyers beat Blue Jackets to climb in NHL playoff race

Travis Konecny sets new career high as Flyers beat Blue Jackets to climb in NHL playoff race

BOX SCORE

The Flyers picked up a huge win in their playoff push with a 5-1 decision Tuesday night over the Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center.

Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Philippe Myers, Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek all scored goals for the Flyers (33-20-7), who notched their 20th home win of 2019-20. They won only 19 games in Philly last season.

More impressively, the Flyers improved to 7-0-2 against the Capitals, Hurricanes and Blue Jackets. In 2018-19, they were 0-10-2 against those divisional foes.

Major improvements.

The Flyers also rebounded from another defeat as they haven't dropped consecutive outings since Jan. 4-7. In games after their last seven losses, the Flyers are 7-0-0 and have outscored the opposition 36-16.

The Blue Jackets (30-19-12) have allowed 15 goals to the Flyers through three matchups.

• Big, big win for the Flyers.

They’ve now jumped the Blue Jackets and Islanders to take over third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New York has two games in hand on the Flyers.

One of the more noticeable aspects of this win was the contributions from players who were not here in 2018-19. Hayes got things started, Myers (played only 21 games last season) was strong, Joel Farabee added two assists and Nicolas Aube-Kubel was reliable yet again.

• Thanks to a goal and two assists, Konecny set a new career high in points as he now has 51.

There are 22 games left in the Flyers’ season and the 22-year-old forward has already delivered in the first year of his six-year, $33 million deal.

• An impressive franchise record for captain Claude Giroux.

• Carter Hart improved to 15-2-2 with a 1.62 goals-against average at home.

Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who came in leading the NHL with five shutouts, was pulled during the third period after allowing four goals on 12 shots.

• During the second period, everyone saw why there’s so much potential and excitement behind the Travis Sanheim-Myers defensive pairing.

Some serious size, skating and skill — and both are only 23 years old.

• The Flyers’ 200-foot forces set the tone.

During the first period, Hayes and Couturier jumped on the Blue Jackets, who were allowing the NHL's second-fewest goals per game at 2.45.

From a crazy angle, Hayes scored his 18th goal of the season. The 27-year-old center has a great chance to break his career high of 25 goals set in 2017-18.

Couturier might finish the season as the Flyers’ leading scorer. He has 48 points and a plus-27 rating over his last 50 games.

• The Flyers fly to Columbus Wednesday afternoon ahead of another matchup with the Blue Jackets Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

The Flyers then play three straight games at home against teams not in playoff position — Jets on Saturday (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP), Sharks next Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Rangers next Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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NHL trade rumors: Jeff Carter, Flyers buzz is picking back up

NHL trade rumors: Jeff Carter, Flyers buzz is picking back up

The Jeff Carter-Flyers buzz is back.

It started humming in January when Carter and the Kings visited the Flyers. It picked back up Tuesday with the latest 31 Thoughts article from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, always a must-read.

Per Friedman:

It might come down to Nolan Patrick’s health, but I think Philadelphia is considering Jeff Carter.

That would not be terribly surprising, as we noted in January. The Kings are at the bottom of the Western Conference and selling with Monday's NHL trade deadline on the horizon. As they retool, being open to moving an older player like Carter would make sense. The 35-year-old has a cap hit of $5,272,727, according to CapFriendly.com, and is under contract for 2020-21 and 2021-22.

That is most significant as it relates to the possibility of the Flyers adding Carter for their playoff push. The Flyers have just over $2 million in cap space. Even with Los Angeles retaining 50 percent of Carter's cap hit, the Flyers would have to do some juggling. And then the fact that Carter has two more years left on his deal might make things less appealing for the Flyers.

However, there are reasons why the Flyers are probably peeking in at Carter's availability. The center is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, four-time 30-plus goal-scorer and understands the pressure of playing in Philly. Returning to the city during a playoff race would only rejuvenate Carter, who could help the Flyers' depth down the middle and be a positive influence on the team's younger bottom-six forwards. Not to mention the former Flyer has 17 goals this season and is projected to finish with 24.

The Flyers could interest the Kings with a prospect and/or a draft pick. But what would they be willing to give up from a prospect pool that will build the future? And how do they make it work for the roster moving forward?

Those are big questions for a 35-year-old center with a big contract.

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