We conclude our evaluations of the Flyers at each position today with a look at Part 3 of the forwards:
After evaluating goaltending and the defense, we turn our attention to the Flyers’ forwards, one of the deepest groups under coach Dave Hakstol and a group that produced nine double-digit scorers in 2017-18.
Regular Season: B+
Konecny found another gear to his game once he was paired with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. He scored 19 of his 24 goals from the beginning of January to the end of March. Still needs work on limiting turnovers and not abandoning defensive responsibilities in favor of the breakaway pass. Konecny saw an extreme variance in playing time from 9:16 in a Game 2 win to 17:56 in a Game 6 loss. Hard to get into a flow and develop chemistry.
2018-19 outlook: Konecny will enter the final year of his entry-level deal, so he could benefit greatly with a solid all-around 2018-19 season and the potential of reaching the 30-goal mark for the first time.
Regular Season: B-
Patrick overcame a rough start to his NHL career, battling concussion symptoms with a solid finish. Patrick gained confidence and comfort in the second half, which was evident in his speed and attacking style in the offensive zone. He showcased a tremendous set of hands, especially on the power play. Scored a big goal in the Game 2 victory over Pittsburgh and was the Flyers’ best forward in a 5-0 Game 4 loss.
2018-19 outlook: Two more years on an entry-level contract.
Regular Season: B-
Considering Raffl saw very little playing time on the power play and on the Flyers’ top line, his 13 goals would be considered a respectable bounce-back season. Played a solid two-way game, finishing with a plus-9 and, like Jake Voracek, was strong on pucks while sneaky quick on the forecheck. However, Raffl didn’t appear to have that extra gear in the playoffs, as I thought he would generate more of an offensive attack playing with Patrick and Konecny.
2018-19 outlook: Entering the final season of a three-year, $7.05 million contract in what could be his final season in Philadelphia.
Regular Season: D-
There wasn’t a more disappointing season than Weal’s after the promising finish of 2016-17. Had a strong start in his first 10 games, but could never contribute consistently offensively and with that came a loss in confidence. When he had possession of the puck, Weal rarely tried to find an open seam or create a shot, instead electing to find a teammate to pass to.
2018-19 outlook: The Flyers will likely keep Weal with one more year remaining at $1.75 million. He still has an element of speed to his game, a much-needed attribute, especially on a third line.