Chuck Fletcher locked up another one of the Flyers' key pieces.
On Thursday, the general manager signed Joel Farabee to a six-year, $30 million contract extension.
The 21-year-old winger was slated to be a restricted free agent after this season. The 2018 first-round pick led the Flyers in goals last season with 20 and finished with 38 points through 55 games.
"I definitely think I found a lot of confidence this year, so hopefully I can just build on that," Farabee said in May at his end-of-the-season press conference. "I think for me, one of the big things I want to focus on is just keeping it consistent, try not to have those 10-, 15-game stretches where things are going bad. ... If I can eliminate that and kind of bring it a little bit more every night, I think I can really help the team a bit more."
A week ago, the Flyers signed Sean Couturier to an eight-year, $62 million extension, avoiding the contract year with their first-line center.
Farabee is currently on his entry-level deal, which has one more year left at a $925,000 cap hit. His new deal has him under contract through the 2027-28 season at a $5 million cap hit. Farabee will be 28 years old when the deal expires and he can become an unrestricted free agent.
"For them to believe in me I think is really awesome," Farabee said Thursday. "I'm happy to get it done and I'm really excited to prove how I can get better and things like that. ... Hopefully everything works out and I can stay in Philly my whole career; I think that's definitely something I'd want to do. I'm looking forward to the next few years here."
Farabee was the Flyers' biggest bright spot in a mostly dark 2020-21 season in which the club missed the playoffs. After putting up eight goals and 21 points in 52 games his rookie year, Farabee broke out as a sophomore. At 21 years, 74 days old, he became the second-youngest player in Flyers history to lead the team in goals during a season. Only Hall of Famer Eric Lindros pulled it off at an earlier age, a month younger than Farabee, when he scored 44 goals in 1993-94.
Impressively, Farabee did a lot of his damage at even strength. Seventeen of his 20 goals came at even strength, more than guys like Alex Ovechkin (15 in 45 games), Leon Draisaitl (15 in 56 games) and Sebastian Aho (14 in 56 games).
"He's someone you can tell that wants to be a player," James van Riemsdyk said after the Flyers' final game.
With his smarts and ability to scale a lineup, Farabee has been a quick climber. In 2018-19, he was a freshman at Boston University. The next season, he was making his NHL debut in the Flyers' seventh game. The following year, he was the club's leading goal scorer.
"We always saw the smarts, the hockey IQ," former Flyers assistant coach and current Lehigh Valley head coach Ian Laperriere said in March. "He's like Coots — he sees the game, he reads the game well in front of him. ... He's got that swagger."
The Flyers, with a new look this season and renewed expectations, will hope Farabee continues to rise before his new deal even kicks in.
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