(Photo: Kate Frese)
It was a pretty solid season for the Flyers core in 2017-18. Several of the five players being previewed today had career years.
The 2018-19 season will be about maintaining that success and complimenting each other to achieve team success.
Using Daily Faceoff’s fantasy projections as a guideline, we’ll review the five veteran players that make up the Flyers core and how those projections look.
Claude Giroux (22 G, 55 A, 77 P) - The 2017-18 season was a career year for Claude Giroux with 102 points and 34 goals, both career marks. While those numbers will be difficult to replicate, a reduction to 77 points is ridiculous.
Giroux plays on the top line, is expected to hold his position on the wing, where he achieved that success, and has an even better top six around him. Giroux may not be a 100-point player again, but he should reach the 85-90 point mark.
Jake Voracek (22 G, 53 A, 75 P) - Voracek had 84 points, also a career high, last season, and the drop to 75 seems more likely than Giroux having a massive drop off.
Voracek will also still get the benefit of a better top six and power play time, so he should be up there in points for sure.
Wayne Simmonds (28 G, 25 A, 53 P) - Remember that Wayne Simmonds played through multiple injuries and still scored 24 goals last season. He’s back, he feels good and it’s a contract year. He’s got all the motivation he needs.
Simmonds isn’t known for assists, so the 50-point mark may be a difficult reach, but 28 goals seems like a good number for goals. He should certainly reach the 25-goal mark if he’s healthy and on his game.
James van Riemsdyk (31 G, 30 A, 61 P) - The big addition to the Flyers lineup through free agency, JVR is back and he’s coming off a season where he scored 36 goals. That may be a little difficult to replicate, especially in a lineup where there are a lot of scorers and depth, but the 30-goal mark seems very achievable for him.
Sean Couturier (24 G, 34 A, 58 P) - After a career year that blew away every other season of his career, you had to expect that the offensive predictions on Sean Couturier would have cooled a little bit, especially after he didn’t score at nearly the same rate in the second half of the season. That said, a 24-goal season and 58 points is a modest number. Couturier should be able to reach 60 points at least on the top line, but it takes the numbers from a year ago and averages them in nicely.