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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Joel Farabee continues to impress with strong freshman season

Best boy Jo-el is really good at this whole hockey thing, folks, and very well may win himself a roster spot next month.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the Flyers drafted Joel Farabee last year, it looked like an extremely good pick that was going to pay major dividends. Since then, all the first round pick has done is almost average a point per game in his freshman year on a not-so-good Boston University team, and score five points in seven games at the World Juniors.

Farabee signed his first professional contract in March of this year, and will most likely start the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. However, there is a chance with a strong preseason and training camp, that Farabee could make this roster in the third line right wing spot.

No. 9: Joel Farabee

Position: F
Age: 19 (2/25/2000)
Size: 6’0”, 163
Acquired Via: 2018 NHL Draft — Round 1, Pick 14 (Pick acquired from St. Louis along with Pick No. 27 in 2017 and Jori Lehtera in exchange for Brayden Schenn on June 23, 2017)
2018-19 League/Team/Statistics: Boston (NCAA) - 17 G, 19 A in 37 GP
Nationality: American
Ranking in BSH Winter 2019 25 Under 25: 9

There are a lot of aspects to Joel Farabee’s game to fall in love with. Back in our 2018 BSH Community Draft Board series, I mentioned how there wasn’t exactly one thing that made Farabee stand out. That’s because pretty much everything about his game makes him stand out. Whether it be his hockey sense, skating, shooting, passing, whatever you want to point to, it’s all impressive.

A lot of talk has been made about his size and it’s entirely just. At just 170 pounds, according to HockeyDB, there isn’t a whole lot of weight to him. He will have to get bigger to play consistently at the NHL level but there is something that is important to remember about Farabee. He plays bigger than his size suggests, and he does it very well.

Something very noticeable from pre-draft scouting in 2018 was just how aggressive he was on the forecheck. He would give teams fits on a daily basis with how tenacious and aggressive he was on opposing puck carriers which is something this team could absolutely use.

He has this innate ability to position his body perfectly whether it be to deflect a pass attempt, make a check, or shield the puck from opposing forecheckers. Once he puts on more weight and gets to a point where physically he is NHL ready, he’s going to be one of the more entertaining players in the league to watch in the offensive zone. His edge work and overall skating make him a threat already, add in his body positioning and we’re looking at a real offensive talent.

It’s not just his offense that makes him stand out however, as his two-way game is what really completes him as a player. His ability to transition defense into offense is sometimes such a premium at the wing position, but Farabee does it so well. Himself and Morgan Frost are compared so often now as to who is the best forward prospect in the organization, and I’m not sure there’s a direct answer.

Morgan Frost will always be the flashier option. His point totals in the OHL are absolutely absurd and his highlight reels are jaw-dropping. As for Farabee, he doesn’t have those insane point totals, or 10 minute long incredible highlights, but the way I look at it and the way I feel more people are beginning to look at it, Farabee’s floor is much higher than Frost’s. Farabee’s strong two-way game appears to be something that will translate to the NHL better than Frost, who primarily relies on his offensive talents. Frost absolutely has the higher ceiling, but the floor is where things get interesting.

Regardless of who you may believe is the better prospect, it’s truly exciting seeing a guy like Farabee this close to the NHL roster, and him not being the only one. The Flyers have a lot of up and coming talent on the front end, and Farabee is one of the biggest names.

Previously in Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2019 Top 25 Under 25: