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Team Reset

Flyers add van Riemsdyk to boost depth on offense

Philadelphia looks to shore up defense with signing of Folin

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Philadelphia Flyers:

The Philadelphia Flyers added the goal-scorer they were seeking when unrestricted free agent forward James van Riemsdyk signed a five-year contract July 1.

Van Riemsdyk, who scored an NHL career-high 36 goals last season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, had several teams interested in him but picking the Flyers meant choosing the familiar: He was selected by Philadelphia with the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft and played with them for three seasons prior to being traded June 23, 2012.


[RELATED: Complete Team Reset Coverage]


"I think there was a sense of that comfortability and knowing what the organization is all about," van Riemsdyk said. "Even just remembering my time previously is just how bad they want to win and they're willing to put resources into that. Again, that passion and that commitment to that was a big thing for me."

The Flyers also wanted to add a veteran right-shot defenseman and signed unrestricted free agent Christian Folin to a one-year contract July 5.

Here is what the Flyers look like today:


Key arrivals

James van Riemsdyk, F: The 29-year-old scored at least 27 goals four times in six seasons with the Maple Leafs, including two seasons with at least 30 goals. Van Riemsdyk fills a need for offensive depth at left wing and should be an asset on the power play.  … Christian Folin, D: The 27-year-old had 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 65 games with the Los Angeles Kings last season. His arrival will give the Flyers more options in defense pairs. Radko Gudas is the only right-shot defenseman to play more than 30 games for Philadelphia the past three seasons.

Video: Van Riemsdyk talks about signing with the Flyers


Key departures

Valtteri Filppula, F: The 34-year-old forward agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Islanders on July 1 after he had 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 81 games and played up and down the lineup for the Flyers last season. He was second among Philadelphia forwards with 1:18 of shorthanded ice time per game. … Brandon Manning, D: The 28-year-old agreed to a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1. He was third among Flyers defensemen with seven goals last season. … Matt Read, F: The 32-year-old is a UFA. He had one goal in 19 regular-season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. … Petr Mrazek, G: The 26-year-old went 6-6-3 with a 3.22 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 17 games after being acquired in a trade from the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 19. He agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes as a UFA on July 1.


On the cusp

Philippe Myers, D: The 21-year-old had a strong finish last season, including seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 games with Lehigh Valley in the American Hockey League playoffs. The undrafted free agent has had injury issues, but his size (6-foot-5, 210 pounds), skill and right-handed shot make him a candidate for an NHL spot. … Carter Hart, G: Selected by the Flyers in the second round (No. 48) in the 2016 NHL Draft, he will turn pro this season after he was named best goaltender in the Western Hockey League for the third straight season and the best goalie in the Canadian Hockey League for the second time in three seasons. Hart, who turns 20 on Aug. 13, will likely start this season with Lehigh Valley, but it might not be long before he's in the NHL.


What they still need

Improved penalty killing. The Flyers have ranked in the bottom third of the NHL on the penalty kill the past four seasons, including 29th last season (75.8 percent), and were 80.0 percent (20-for-25) in six games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round. The 217 power-play goals allowed the past four seasons are nearly a quarter (24.1 percent) of all the goals they've given up since 2014-15. The Flyers like to expand their box and pressure the points, so one solution could be giving more shorthanded ice time to younger, speedier forwards Scott Laughton, 24, and Taylor Leier, 24. They killed penalties early in the season, but coach Dave Hakstol eventually shifted away from them and became overly reliant on slower Jori Lehtera and Filppula. 


Fantasy focus

Center Nolan Patrick had an encouraging run during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with two points (one goal, one assist) and 16 shots on goal, including multiple scoring chances, in six games against the Penguins. His 16 shots on goal tied defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for the Flyers lead. The rookie gradually improved, especially from Feb. 16 to the end of the regular season with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and six power-play points in 25 games, and could benefit from the signing of van Riemsdyk. The Flyers are loaded on the wing with Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny, making Patrick a fantasy sleeper candidate with the chance to center two of them in his second NHL season. Patrick either will be on the first power-play unit with multiple elite forwards and Gostisbehere, or the second unit with Ivan Provorov, whose 17 goals were tied for the NHL lead among defensemen with Dougie Hamilton and Victor Hedman last season. -- Pete Jensen


Projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Travis Konecny

James van Riemsdyk -- Nolan Patrick -- Jakub Voracek

Oskar Lindblom -- Scott Laughton -- Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl -- Jori Lehtera -- Taylor Leier

Ivan Provorov -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Travis Sanheim -- Andrew MacDonald

Robert Hagg -- Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott

Michal Neuvirth

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