Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Flyers signed 2014 fifth-round pick Oskar Lindblom to his NHL entry-level contract. Generally signing a fifth-round pick to an entry-level deal isn’t something to get that much excited about, but in this case, it’s acceptable. Lindblom is the next big piece in the Flyers’ youth movement.
Lindblom is one of the only true wingers that the Flyers have in their system, and I would not be surprised to see him in the top six string of forward with the big club at some point next season.
Lindblom scored 22 goals and had 25 assists for a total of 47 points last year in the Swedish Hockey League, which placed him fourth overall in points.
Aside from Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, the Flyers lack serious depth on the wing position. They have converted players like Brayden Schenn, Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal to the wing, with highs and lows, but they do not have many true wingers like Lindblom.
The Flyers’ top six has a chance to shape up like this: Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Schenn, Lindblom and either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier, whoever they draft in three weeks.
Adding Lindblom to the lineup as a true winger gives the team not only a young core but also an above average top six going into next year.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has always preached patience with young players, however, so there is a chance that Lindblom plays with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to start the season. However, Lindblom has shown that he has the skill on a big stage, and if he can show that same fire in camp, Hextall might have no choice but to keep him with the big club.
I would put players like Michael Raffl, Matt Read, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare and Weal behind Lindblom on the depth chart, so if he makes the team, I believe he’ll be in a top six role.
Despite missing the playoff this season and seeing what the Pittsburgh Penguins have been doing the last two years in the playoffs, this is an exciting time to be a Flyers fan. We’re seeing what’s hopefully the young core come up together and make this team a Stanley Cup contender before long. Next season, we have a chance to see at least five players under the age of 21 on the Flyers’ roster.
Though sports aren’t so hot in Philly right now, we are seeing Hextall build a young core that will hopefully lead to a prosperous Flyers future.
Expect big things from the Flyers moving forward.