Joel Farabee impressed in his first full season with the Philadelphia Flyers and has bulked up ahead of delivering even more positive moments in 2021.
Farabee was one of many young players who was called upon in Alain Vigneault’s first season in Philadelphia and will now aim to follow up on his early success in a new season. The New York native was one of the smaller forwards on the roster, but didn’t back down from the challenge of getting bigger and stronger this offseason.
“The first year gave me a good idea of where I needed to be for my second year,” Farabee said. “I spent a lot of time back at home working out- trying to build a lot of leg muscle and stuff like that. I think I put on close to 7-8,10 lbs since I finished in the bubble there. So definitely feeling strong, feeling good and ready to get going here.”
“Obviously playing in the NHL, the D [defensemen] are big and stuff like that. I think I finished the bubble like 176, 177, and now I am closer to 185, 184, somewhere in there. I think more of it is just down low play, being able to shield guys off, protect the puck and stuff like that. Waiting for plays to open up. But like I said, I feel really strong right now, really good.”
Farabee played in 62 combined games in 2019-20 for the Flyers, scoring 11 goals and 15 assists, with three of them coming in his first postseason. The 20-year-old didn’t shy down from playing in multiple roles for the Flyers whether it be on even-strength or the power play, continuously earning ice time and trying to play physical on every shift.
Now with fellow youngsters Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom fully back in the mix, Farabee will look to grow the chemistry with them and try to continue scoring and assisting goals starting this January.
“It’s my second camp so I definitely feel a lot more confident,” Farabee said. “I know everybody around here, so I didn’t have to worry about figuring out where people are, and stuff like that, so that’s a huge thing. I think for a lot of guys that come in for their first year, they don’t really know what is going on. But definitely feeling confident. I’m feeling confident about my game on the ice. I think last year, I feel like I got rid of the puck a lot when I didn’t have to. So just focusing on holding on to it, maybe waiting for a play to open up and stuff like that.”
“You obviously don’t want to not score. I am obviously trying to score. Just little things. I think that comes with the strength I’ve put on. Just trying to finish pucks. Obviously, goalies in the NHL are really good and being able to shoot on Moose and Hartsy every day, it definitely helps me. Hopefully that gives me a lot of confidence heading into the next season.”
Farabee might not be a household name in the National Hockey League just yet, but his work rate and willingness to work is impressive for a scrappy young forward in the league. Especially with the style of play the Flyers aim to deliver, Farabee can quickly see his stock grow within the forward corps as he continues to impress Vigneault and his work so far in the offseason.
“I have taken notice of that,” Vigneault said about Farabee’s physical growth. “I have taken notice of his protection skills and his one on one battles where he has been involved. There’s no doubt that’s going to be beneficial to him. He’s come here extremely prepared. He’s got almost a full year of experience with him starting last year in the minors, getting called up, and obviously the stoppage of play. He’s a good young player who’s in his learning curve. He hasn’t reached his full potential yet, but he’s working real hard. I do think that extra muscle is going to help him moving forward here.”