Perhaps the best-case scenario for the Philadelphia Flyers is happening in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The Vegas Golden Knights have selected forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare as their one pick from Philly, originally leaked by Craig Custance of The Athletic. The news was officially announced during the NHL’s Expansion Draft show.
First off, it leaves Michal Neuvirth, Michael Raffl, Matt Read and others safe as members of the Flyers. It means the Flyers still have a chance at keeping Jordan Weal in free agency.
Most importantly, it’s addition by subtraction from the Flyers lineup. It removes a player who was drastically overvalued by the coaching staff out of the rotation in Philadelphia. It gives one of the 12 regular forward spots to a player like Scott Laughton or Oskar Lindblom or Mike Vecchione or Nico Hischier/Nolan Patrick or literally anybody but the worst-scoring even strength forward in hockey:
The 10 worst scoring 5-on-5 scoring forwards, 2014-17
|1||JOSEFSON, JACOB||New Jersey||155||5||10||0.19||0.37||0.56|
|7||SHORE, NICK||Los Angeles||164||8||16||0.27||0.55||0.82|
|9||GIONTA, STEPHEN||NY Islanders||154||6||16||0.23||0.61||0.84|
|10||REAVES, RYAN||St. Louis||205||12||12||0.43||0.43||0.86|
Bellemare was a well-liked teammate who earned his assistant captainship at the end of the season for reasons beyond just his play on the ice, but the Flyers had to lose somebody, and this really is one of the best possible scenarios given the other more valuable players they could have lost.