(Kate Frese/SB Nation)
The Philadelphia Flyers are in the midst of another NHL season. Once again, they're battling day in and day out in order to make it to the postseason.
As 2018 begins and 2017 rides off into the sunset, it's time to take a look back at some of the highlights in the past year of Flyers hockey.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the year was the 50th anniversary of the franchise. The Flyers celebrated a half century of hockey throughout the year with game-night promotions celebrating key figures, moments and achievements ever since the organization's founding back in 1967. Philadelphia also donned some interestingly-designed jerseys multiple times during the course of the year to mark the occasion. Fittingly, the anniversary coincided with the NHL's 100-year anniversary.
After posting just 33 wins last season, the Flyers unfortunately missed out on the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the third time in the last five seasons the team failed to reach the postseason. The Flyers finished near the bottom of their respective Metropolitan Division in sixth place with 88 points in the standings. Making things even worse, the Flyers were the first ever National Hockey League team to miss the postseason after having a 10-game winning streak.
Improbable Draft Pick
The 2017 NHL Draft lottery saw the Flyers miraculously draw the second overall pick. Finishing 19th overall last season, Philadelphia had just a 2.4 percent chance of earning the pick. It was just the second time in franchise history that the Flyers had earned a second overall selection, their first one coming in 2007 when they selected James Van Riemsdyk, who is now a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Picking the Future
Once the Flyers had secured the second overall pick, everyone began to question who they would take in the early stages of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The draft itself did not boast as much talent as years past, but it was still jam-packed nonetheless.
Things came down to the wire as the experts predicted Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick as the top two picks. In the end, Hischier went first overall to the Devils while all Flyers fans know that Patrick came to Philadelphia. The young forward is now just a part of the huge youth movement the Flyers are embracing.
Betting on Youth
With what is considered the best prospect pipeline in hockey, the Flyers have began to transition some of their young talent into the big league. Players like Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim and Taylor Leier have been regulars on the Philadelphia bench this season. Also, with players like Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere still in the early stages of their NHL careers, the Flyers are truly invested in reaping what they've sewn within their system.
2017 was a year that brought disappointment to many who follow the Flyers. However, outweighing all of that seemed to be a glimmer of hope towards the future. With young talent coming to fruition and the slow tweakings of roster moves, 2018 could prove to bring new life into the Philadelphia Flyers.