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Philadelphia Flyers / Lehigh Valley Phantoms Free Agent Outlook


An overview of the Flyers organizational depth

As free agency begins, an overview of signed players in the Flyers organization seems like a good place to start.

After the jump, the projected NHL roster as it currently stands along with some on the bubble players and a look at a preliminary AHL roster for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Also included is the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ team needs in free agency.
Flyers/Phantoms
Here’s a look at who the Flyers have signed through the 2017-18 season and beyond, followed by signed players on the bubble between NHL and AHL roster and who’s signed and penciled in on the AHL roster in Lehigh Valley.
PROJECTED NHL ROSTER – FLYERS

FORWARDS (11): Claude Giroux ($8.275 million AAV through 2021-22), Jakub Voracek ($8.25 million AAV through 2023-24), Brayden Schenn ($5.125 million through 2019-20), Valtteri Filppula ($5 million AAV through 2017-18), Sean Couturier ($4.33 million AAV through 2021-22), **Wayne Simmonds **($3.975 million through 2018-19), **Matt Read **($3.625 million through 2017-18), **Dale Weise **(*$2.35 million through 2019-20), **Michael Raffl **($2.35 million through 2018-19), **Jordan Weal **($1.75 million through 2018-19) *and **Travis Konecny **($894,167 through 2018-19)


***Forwards salary: $45,502,500> NHL-LEVEL FREE AGENT FORWARDS (3): Roman Lyubimov (RFA), Chris VandeVelde (UFA) and Michael Vecchione (RFA)

DEFENSEMEN (5): **Andrew MacDonald **($5 million AAV through 2019-20)Shayne Gostisbehere ($4.5 million AAV through 2022-23), **Radko Gudas **($3.35 million AAV through 2019-20), **Brandon Manning **($975,000 AAV through 2017-18) and **Ivan Provorov **($894,167 AAV through 2018-19)
*
*Defensemen Salary: $14,719,167

NHL-LEVEL FREE AGENT DEFENSEMEN (2): Michael Del Zotto (UFA) and Nick Schultz (UFA)

GOALTENDERS (1): **Michael Neuvirth **($2.5 million AAV through 2019-20)
*
*Goaltenders Salary: $2,500,000

NHL-LEVEL FREE AGENT GOALTENDERS (1): Steve Mason (UFA)

PROJECTED ON THE BUBBLE – NHL/AHL

FORWARDS (4): **Scott Laughton **(RFA), **Taylor Leier **(RFA), **Oskar Lindblom *($925,000 AAV through 2019-20) and **Colin McDonald **($637,500 AAV through 2017-18)
*
DEFENSEMEN (4): **Robert Hagg **($894,167 AAV through 2017-18), **Sam Morin **($863,333 AAV through 2017-18), **Philippe Myers **($678,333 AAV through 2019-20) and **Travis Sanheim **($863,333 AAV through 2018-19)

*
*GOALTENDERS (0): None
*
*PROJECTED AHL ROSTER – PHANTOMS

FORWARDS (8): **Nicolas Aube-Kubel (**signed through 2018-19), **Cole Bardreau **(NHL RFA), **Greg Carey **(signed through 2018-19), **Radel Fazleev **(signed through 2018-19), **Tyrell Goulbourne **(signed through 2017-18), **Danick Martel **(*signed through 2017-18) , ***Steven Swavely (***AHL contract) *and **Mikhail Vorobyov **(signed through 2019-20)

> AHL-LEVEL FORWARD FREE AGENTS (5): **Chris Conner** (NHL UFA), **Boyd Gordon** (NHL UFA), **Corban Knight** (AHL), **Derek Mathers** (AHL) and **Chris McCarthy** (AHL)

DEFENSEMEN (5): **Mark Alt **(signed through 2017-18), **T,****J. Brennan **(signed through 2017-18), **Mark Friedman **(signed through 2019-20), **Will O’Neill **(*signed through 2017-18) *and **Reece Willcox **(signed through 2017-18)

AHL-LEVEL DEFENSEMEN FREE AGENTS (1): Max Lamarche(AHL)

GOALTENDERS (0): **Alex Lyon ***(NHL RFA) *and **Anthony Stolarz (**NHL RFA)

AHL-LEVEL GOALIE FREE AGENTS (2):Mark Dekanich (AHL) and Martin Ouellette (AHL)

Preliminary Projected AHL Lineup
Taylor Leier – Mike Vecchione – xxxxxxx
Greg Carey – Mikhail Vorobyov – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Danick Martel – Cole Bardreau – xxxxxxx
Tyrell Goulbourne – Steven Swavely (AHL) – Radel Fazleev
T.J. Brennan – Reece Willcox
Will O’Neill – Mark Alt
Sam Morin/Robert Hagg – Travis Sanheim/Phil Myers
Anthony Stolarz – Alex Lyon
Phantoms’ Team Needs
The Philadelphia Flyers under GM Ron Hextall have placed a stressed importance on building a contending team with their AHL affiliate since the team relocated to the Lehigh Valley in 2014-15.
Last season, the Flyers signed defensemen T.J. Brennan and Will O’Neill – two of the top scoring defenders in the AHL the previous season – and high-scoring forwards Greg Carey and Andy Miele to bolster the team’s weapons up front.
This year, the Phantoms appear set in net with Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon – though the Phantoms will need to add a goaltender or two on an AHL contract for depth purposes. Is Martin Ouellette willing to return for another season knowing he’s going to be the #3 goalie at the AHL level and stowed away in Reading?
Defensively, I don’t see the Flyers adding anymore big AHL names in free agency. With veterans Mark Alt, T.J. Brennan and Will O’Neill all under contract and penciled in on the AHL blue line, the prospects that don’t make the NHL roster – some of Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Phil Myers and Travis Sanheim – as well as rookie Mark Friedman and second year pro Reece Willcox will fill out the rest of the depth chart. Like with the goalies, some AHL-only contracts to add to depth at the position are expected i.e. a Max Lamarche-type signing.
Where the Phantoms are currently thin appears to be up front at the forward position.
Jordan Weal has re-signed with the Flyers but has graduated to the NHL full-time.
Scott Laughton will need to clear waivers to be assigned to Lehigh Valley, and he’ll certainly be given an opportunity to make the NHL roster out of training camp.
Chris Conner is an unrestricted free agent, and there hasn’t been any information about whether the Flyers are interested in retaining his services.
Corban Knight and Mark Zengerle, though on AHL-only contracts last season, were a big part of the forward core’s depth. Knight is a free agent, and Zengerle signed overseas in Sweden last month.
Last night, the Flyers were reportedly one of two teams that [last year’s AHL MVP Kenny Agostino](http://127.0.0.1/wordpress/2017/07/01/flyers-after-ahl-leading-scorer-agostino/) was deciding on signing with. Unfortunately, it appears the Flyers lost out to Boston in that one.
Expect some big-name AHL-level free agent forwards to sign with the Flyers for the purposes of re-loading the Phantoms with offensive weapons for another run at the Calder Cup Playoffs this year.