Flyers roundtable: Early Owen Tippett observations, key stretch ahead for Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee (2024)

The Flyers traded three players at the deadline, including longtime captain Claude Giroux. What letter grade would you assign the team’s deadline activity and why?

GH: C+. Chuck Fletcher said, it went “as expected.” Based on my pre-draft interview with’s Dan Rosen, I would agree. The Flyers moved two veteran pending free agents for draft picks. While both Justin Braun and Derick Brassard have helped the team, the Flyers need to look towards the future. Those two players are well into their 30s and aren’t building blocks. The Flyers got a number of 2023 draft picks in what is expected to be a strong 2023 draft class. While I feel they might have been able to get a bigger return for Giroux, they were working within constraints and did the best they could. Owen Tippett is no Giroux, but he’s a solid young player with potential. I would have thought they’d move Martin Jones, but I respect their decision based on the Flyers’ injuries at goalie.I think the offseason moves will be where they really need to take a hard look at their roster and start “re-tooling.”

» READ MORE: Chuck Fletcher: Flyers turn their attention to building for the future

OR: C. By my definition, “C” means “satisfactory,” which I think is a suitable characterization of the Flyers’ trade deadline moves. There were no real surprises, good or bad, either from a players going out or returns coming back perspective. The expectation going into the deadline was that Giroux, Braun, and Brassard were trade candidates due to their expiring contracts, and they were all ultimately moved. The picks and one player the Flyers received were not overwhelming or underwhelming, but they were realistic (a first, a third, and Tippett for Giroux, a third for Braun, and a fourth for Brassard), especially given the conditions around Giroux’s no-move clause. I will give bonus points to Chuck Fletcher for a) trading Brassard, who had only recently returned to the lineup following a nagging hip injury, and b) moving Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov in the Giroux package, freeing up space for the Flyers to potentially sign college prospects and college free agents.

Through three games, what have you seen from the newest Flyer, Owen Tippett? And what kind of attributes do you think he can bring to this team both this season and long-term?

GH: Tippett seems like he has potential. He’s already made an impact on the team, and he’s clicked with Morgan Frost, which seems like an important step for the future. He’s got play-making abilities, as seen by the assist against St. Louis. He’s also got good size (6-foot-1, 207 lbs.) and used that size to win battles Thursday. He’s young, and from the sound of it, eager to learn, which is what this team needs if it wants to build for the future.

OR: When Tippett first arrived in Philadelphia, interim coach Mike Yeo described him as a “real heavy player.” So far, in a very small sample size, his assessment of Tippett stands up. He’s strong on the puck, he has a heavy shot, and his shoot-first mentality is something that the Flyers need from their forwards. He’s capable of contributing on the power play, which he showcased in his first game against the Islanders on Sunday when his initial shot on goal eventually led to a goal from Kevin Hayes. Tippett appears to have some chemistry with Frost, having been his teammate at the 2019 World Juniors, which could be beneficial for both players looking to make an impact in this last stretch of games.

With the Flyers out of contention and experimenting with a lot of different things, is there an individual player you think these final 18 games are most important for?

GH: Frost. He’s a young player with a ton of upside, but he hasn’t been able to truly find his stride at the NHL level. His development has been affected by injuries — both his own and the numerous Flyers injuries that have forced him to shuttle back and forth between the NHL and AHL. Having the assurance of being with the Flyers for the rest of the season might help him settle, and Tippett already seems like he can help Frost play his game. Frost also makes an interesting trade option, especially if things can’t click for him in Philly.

OR: These last 18 games are important for everyone, both in terms of development and from the standpoint that each player is fighting to prove why they deserve to be on the roster next season. Narrowing it down to one player, these are an important stretch of games for Joel Farabee, who the Flyers are trying at center in the absence of Giroux and Scott Laughton (concussion, out indefinitely). Not only does he have more responsibilities on the ice, but he also has the opportunity to continue to develop as a leader off it. The Flyers ought to experiment with their young players in different roles as much as they can for the rest of the regular season.

Cam York and Morgan Frost are two young players who have received more playing time of late. Are there any other younger players we can expect to see up with the big club before season’s end?

GH: Fletcher said they will be taking a look at younger players, so there will definitely be some guys coming up. Isaac Ratcliffe impressed in his short stint with the Flyers, so I would think they’d give him another look. His game wavered towards the end, but Yeo thought that went back to confidence, and Ratcliffe has said Phantoms coach Ian Laperriére has helped him a lot in that regard. The Flyers No. 1 reason for not calling up Wade Allison again is that “he hasn’t played a lot of hockey.” However, I think they’d want to get him up to the NHL before the season is out. Defenseman Egor Zamula is another guy they like, but he still needs to fill out his 6-foot-3 frame. It will be interesting to see whether they decide pitting him against larger NHL players will help or hurt his development.

OR: With Allison and Tanner Laczynski both back with the Phantoms, I would imagine that the Flyers want to give each of them a look before season’s end. In 13 games this season since returning from hip surgery, Laczynski has four goals and four assists. Since coming back from an MCL injury in January, Allison has played just four games. In that short span, he’s registered a whopping four goals and five assists. Once the Flyers feel like they’re fully comfortable at the AHL level post-injury, they should bring them back up to the NHL to continue their auditions.

Flyers roundtable: Early Owen Tippett observations, key stretch ahead for Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee (2024)


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