What had long looked like the final offseason objective for general manager Chuck Fletcher has now been crossed off the to-do list.
The Flyers on Tuesday signed Philippe Myers to a new three-year, $7.65 million contract. The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent without arbitration eligibility, which led to a lengthier, no-rush negotiation process between the Flyers and Myers' camp, particularly with the prolonged uncertainty surrounding next season's start date.
Provided Myers' high ceiling, three years at a $2.55 million average annual value is great for the Flyers, while the young blueliner has security and sets himself up well to earn a heftier contract after the 2022-23 campaign, when he'll once again be a restricted free agent.
The undrafted defenseman's previous cap hit was $678,889 on his entry-level contract.
Myers, who turns 24 in January, looks poised to take on much greater responsibility in 2020-21 after his promising rookie season and Matt Niskanen's retirement. The Flyers were "bullish" on Myers' upside last offseason and remain high on his potential.
In 2019-20, Myers' plus-17 was the best plus-minus mark by a Flyers rookie defenseman since 1983-84, when Thomas Eriksson was a plus-29. After recording four goals and 12 assists in 50 games during the regular season, Myers played in all 16 of the Flyers' playoff games and finished fourth on the team in shots with 30. His three postseason goals were the most by a Flyers rookie defenseman in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2000, when Andy Delmore had five.
"I think he's going to be a star," NBC Sports' NHL analyst Keith Jones said about Myers in September. "He's showing us glimpses, which is remarkable when you look at the way he arrived in the NHL; he's going to be a top player. I like his attitude and I know he's got a lot of room to grow. I think the potential is probably what excites me more than what we've seen so far."
As a 6-foot-5, 210-pound fluid skater with offensive skill, Myers has gotten better in the neutral and defensive zones by utilizing his size, reach and improved gap control. He projects to be a top-four defenseman for the Flyers in 2020-21 and could get a shot at playing alongside Ivan Provorov on the club's lead pair.
Once again, it'll be up to him to prove he's ready to make those strides.
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