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July 11, 2023

Projecting the Flyers' 2023-2024 lineup (Version 1.0)

With the organization looking for a youth movement, there should be plenty of opportunity for the Flyers' prospects to try and crack this season's lineup.

The Flyers are only at the beginning of building a team for tomorrow, but they'll still have to ice one come October. 

So what could that opening night lineup look like?

Taking a look at the roster as it stands right now – after the draft, trades, and the opening of free agency – below is a prediction of the lines we could be looking at once the puck is ready to drop on the 2023-24 season. 

Things can always change, of course, especially once training camp starts, so we'll periodically update this as we get closer and the picture becomes more clear-cut. 

But for now, here's version 1.0 of our 2023-24 Flyers lineup projection, along with a list of expected AHL reserves, plus a few other notes and observations...

Offensive Lines

Joel Farabee Morgan Frost Owen Tippett 
Tyson Foerster  Noah CatesTravis Konecny 
Elliot Desnoyers Scott Laughton Wade Allison 
Nic Deslauriers Ryan Poehling Garnet Hathaway 

RESERVES: Bobby Brink, Olle Lycksell, Rhett Gardner, Tanner Laczynski, *Sean Couturier, *Cam Atkinson.

Cates, who elected for arbitration, received a two-year, $5.25 million contract on Monday to avoid it. The 24-year old skated in all 82 games last season, developing into a reliable defensive-minded forward who quickly became one of head coach John Tortorella's favorites. He was a top-six center for the Flyers by the time last season had ended, though it isn't certain if he'll be able to hold that spot...

• Because how Couturier and Atkinson will factor in after each missing a year or more is a mystery right now. Couturier was one of the NHL's best defensive centers before a series of back issues and resulting surgeries cost him significant time. The 30-year old and longest-tenured Flyer has been shut down since February 2022, and there's no way of knowing whether he can fully return to form or not, especially at his age, until he actually steps back onto the ice. The same goes for Atkinson, who's an undersized but hard-skating winger, though one trying to come back from neck surgery at age 34. If they're healthy, they'll each be in the lineup, sure, but after being out for so long and all while the direction of the franchise completely shifted, it's hard to picture them in it. 

• There's a path for Tyson Foerster, who's probably the forward prospect closest to a full-time spot, and maybe Elliot Desnoyers to make the team out of camp, but the Flyers' roster right now is surprisingly heavy at center and right wing – especially if Couturier and Atkinson are healthy – which could make it tough for other skaters with promise, like Bobby Brink and Olle Lycksell, to make their case, at least from the outset. 

MORE: How the Flyers' free agent signings fit the rebuild

Defensive Pairings

Travis Sanheim  Rasmus Ristolainen 
Marc Staal Cam York 
Nick Seeler Sean Walker 
Egor Zamula – 

RESERVES: Emil Andrae, Ronnie Attard, Helge Grans, Victor Mete.

York's restricted free agency was tidied up on Monday as well with a two-year, $3.2 million deal. He didn't make the team out of camp last season but was eventually recalled from Phantoms and took a major step into establishing himself as an everyday NHL player. The 22-year old will have more room for growth this season while the Flyers' blueline sets itself up for some heavy reconstruction. 

Andrae and Attard could push for roster spots in camp, and the Flyers will definitely want to see what they have in Grans (acquired from L.A. in the Ivan Provorov trade), but Sanheim and Ristolainen aren't going anywhere right now with their massive contracts, Staal's set as the veteran presence, Seeler and Walker are each in the last year of their deals, and Zamula is no longer waiver exempt. There will be opportunity on the blueline this season, but right now what it'll look like on opening night at least may have already taken shape. 

MORE: With Matvei Michkov, the Flyers gamble on greater


Carter Hart 
 Cal Petersen
Felix Sandström 

RESERVES: Samuel Ersson.

Hart's still here, Petersen was taken as a salary dump from L.A., and Sandström has one more year left on his contract and could attract a trade suitor later on. Ersson mostly held up well when he was up with the Flyers last season, and the organization does like him, but he might have to just wait a little longer down in the AHL with Lehigh Valley until they can find a way to create room for him. 

MORE: 15 Flyers home games to check out in 2023-24

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