With the massive roster over-haul this summer, it has left many (if not all) Flyers' fans where exactly these new players fit into the line-up. The new faces of Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Andreas Lilja, Max Talbot and possibly Michael Nylander all have seperate roles on this team. Simmonds brings the hard-hitting, rough and tumble game. Schenn is a speedster who can play both the wing at centre. Voracek is a big winger who has great offensive instincts. Lilja is a stay-at-home, depth defenseman who can provide some stability on the bottom pairing, while Nylander brings a veteran presence, depth at centre and playmaking ability. But where can we plug these players on the depth chart?
Most project Simmonds to be on the third-line. He's the kind of player who is a prototypical third-liner. But if simmonds good improve his offensive out put by a bit, he could easily plug in on one of the two-top lines. Simmonds could provide a physical force and keep the other team honest if he would play on a top-line. A good place for Simmonds may be on the right side with James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux. He could do the dirty work in the corners while his linemates worry about the scoring.
Voracek is a guy who is very interesting. He's a smooth skater with good hands, but is also quite large and 6 foot 2. Seeing how Voracek is a playmaker, and also has a fairly large frame, I see him on the right side with Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere. Briere will need a new play-maker with the departure of Ville Leino, and Voracek looks to be the best option to fill that role. Voracek will also make this line bigger, have himself and Hartnell on both wings to protect Briere.
Schenn's role depends on what happens with Nylander. If Nylander doesn't sign, Schenn is the clear-cut third-line centre. But if Nylander is to sign, Schenn's role with change. First off he'd move to the wing, that's for certain, but the bigger question is on which line. I see Schenn on the third-line playing the left-side, but he could also challenger guys like Simmonds and Voracek for top-six minutes.
Lilja's role on the club is pretty clear: bottom-pair defenseman. Lilja looks to be the favourite to be the number six defenseman, but guys like Erik Gustaffson and Oskars Bartulis will be challenging him for that role. All in all, Lilja will be either the number six or seven defenseman on this club.
Talbot will the void that was left after Ian Laperriere went down with a serious injury. He can play the penalty-kill, be and agitator and fight when needed. But Talbot can also contribute offensively. He was clutch for the Penguins in game seven against the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final in 2009. Talbot potted two goals in that game, helping the Pens with the Cup. Talbot looks to be the right-wing on the fourth-line at this point, but Talbot will make a big push to crack the third-line.
Nylander is the wild-card in this year's training camp. If Nylander signs, it will be because he had a very strong camp, and will most likely plug in at centre on the third line. It is almost certain that should he sign, he will play along-side Jaromir Jagr.