There was never a doubt whether right winger Bobby Brink would receive a qualifying offer from the Flyers as a restricted free agent. There was also no surprise when the 22-year-old forward agreed this week to a two-year contract extension.  

The contract carries a $1.5 million average annual value (AAV). He can become an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent in the summer of 2026.

Now the real work begins for Brink. The challenge will be to earn the trust of head coach John Tortorerella for the full 2024-25 season, play an expanded role in the Flyers' lineup and consistently earn ice time in key situations. Last season, Brink made a strong comeback from hip surgery that cost him much of the 2022-23 season but his usage fluctuated as the year progressed.

Brink split the 2023-24 season between the NHL (57 games, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points) and the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms (13 games, 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points). After the Flyers were eliminated from playoff contention on the final night of the regular season, Brink was loaned back to the Phantoms for the late stretch drive and the Calder Cup playoffs (6 games played, 0 goals, 4 assists).

Brink showed multiple stretches of encouraging offensive play this past season, although greater consistency is needed as he continues to gain experience. Tortorella also particularly wanted to see improvement in Brink's checking game, which was the root cause of periodic benchings last season. On the whole, however, Brink took forward strides from his first full pro season (2022-23) in the AHL after the offseason surgery to his 2023-24 body of work with the Flyers and Phantoms.

Come training camp, Brink will face competition to earn a regular spot on a wing for the Flyers entering the 2024-25 season. The arrival of highly touted right wing Matvei Michkov could change the complexion of Brink's window of time to stake down a regular job on the NHL roster. 

The ranks of Flyers wingers, apart from rookie Michkov, includes roster shoo-ins Travis Konecny, Owen TIppett, Joel Farabee, second-year forward Tyson Foerster and veteran checking winger Garnet Hathaway.  Assuming he remains on a wing rather than moving back to center (where he played in 2022-23), two-way forward Noah Cates makes it a field of seven wingers in the mix for starting roles on wing. Rugged veteran winger Nicolas Deslauriers also remains part of the field of wingers vying for spots.

Barring an unforeseen factor that changes the complexion of the preseason roster battles -- a trade, an injury, a Phantoms player or junior-eligible player making a serious run at an NHL spot -- these appear to be the main competitors for NHL jobs on the Flyers' wings. Additionally, veteran forward Scott Laughton is equally comfortable playing center or a wing.

For Brink to once again earn an NHL roster spot for opening night, whether he's deployed at his customary right wing spot or experimented with on his off wing, he will need to report to training camp in top physical condition and have a strong performance on the ice. The good news for Brink is that he showed last season he's capable of an eye-opening camp and strong early season performance. 

The challenge this time will be for the Minnesota native to not only replicate his 2023-24 preseason but to build off it and sustain a comparable performance for the 2024-25 season as a whole. He's capable of doing so.