Look who's leading Flyers' defensemen in points


Alain Vigneault's club is set to play its eighth straight game without top-pair defenseman Ryan Ellis.

The Flyers (6-2-2) will do so Wednesday when they host the Maple Leafs (7-5-1).

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7:30 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6:30 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• With the Flyers' offseason trade additions of Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen, the 34-year-old Justin Braun was slotted to play on the club's third defensive pair alongside free-agent signing Keith Yandle.

But after Ellis played in the Flyers' first three games, he has been out of commission with a nagging lower-body injury. As a result, Braun has rejoined Ivan Provorov on the top pair.

The steady, stay-at-home Braun was one of many partners for Provorov last season. The Flyers dealt with damaging instability on the back end in life without Matt Niskanen, which led to general manager Chuck Fletcher's busy offseason revamping his defensive group. In a perfect world for the Flyers, Braun is a second- or third-pair guy for them at this stage of his career.

But he has answered the bell during Ellis' injury. The veteran with 100 games of playoff experience has always been known for his goal-prevention qualities. However, through 10 games, Braun leads the Flyers' defensemen in points with seven (one goal, six assists). He had six points (one goal, five assists) all of last season in 53 games.

"Brauner's been a workhorse," Vigneault said Tuesday. "We haven't had our top-four Ds, except for one game. He's been asked to play a little bit more minutes than what we had originally planned. But he gives you that same, honest, hard effort every game."


Braun also sports the best plus-minus rating among the Flyers' blueliners at plus-8 while playing 20:09 minutes per game.

"We know offensively what we're going to get, but we know defensively we can play him against top players and he'll be in position, he'll have a great stick, if he's first back to get the puck to get first touch, he'll take the hit to make the play," Vigneault said. "He's just a type of player that every coach loves and every teammate loves because you know exactly what he's going to give you every night."

• Ellis practiced Tuesday and took part in Wednesday's optional morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center.

"He says he's turning the corner," Vigneault said after the morning skate. "Hope the corner arrives soon."

The Flyers practice Thursday before hitting the road for a back-to-back set. They face the Hurricanes on Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

There's a chance Ellis returns during the back-to-back set.

• Carter Hart will take the net for the Flyers against the Maple Leafs.

The last time the Flyers faced Toronto was Dec. 3, 2019. They scored five third-period goals for a 6-1 win at the Wells Fargo Center.

This season, after starting 2-4-1, the Maple Leafs have won five of their last six games. They had won five straight before losing Monday to the Kings, 5-1.

"Their offense was dynamite," Vigneault said Tuesday. "The speed and the quickness and the skill.

"There's no doubt that that's one of the top offensive teams in the league."

Projected lineup



Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny

Joel Farabee-Derick Brassard-Cam Atkinson

Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-James van Riemsdyk

Nate Thompson-Patrick Brown-Zack MacEwen


Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen

Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler


Carter Hart

Martin Jones

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube