If it isn’t fairly apparent from even a cursory glance, Joel Farabee is a quality hockey player.
At Broad Street Hockey, we’ve all sung his praises fairly regularly. He was ranked second in our top 25 under 25, improved on his performances substantially, and when his name was being kicked around in Seth Jones trade rumors, it was shut right down. Fortunately, the Flyers signaled their intentions by near immediately signing Farabee to a new contract.
To state the obvious once again, Farabee was a lone bright spot in a season of disappointment in 2020-21, though it is becoming clear his season was not an anomaly, as he has shown consistent growth and maturity. To clearly stand out as one of the team’s top forwards is an impressive feat, a feat that when put into context is even more remarkable. Farabee led the Flyers in goals, scoring 20 on the season. Across the entire NHL, take a guess at the number of forwards who scored twenty or more goals...
Forty. 4. 0. 40
Consider there were 687 players in the NHL who scored at least one goal last season, to be in the top 5.0-6.0% of goal-scorers in the league at the age of 20 separates him from the throngs of other young players attempting to establish their professional careers.
So, why bring up Joel Farabee today?
Well, the answer is this video that the Flyers posted on Twitter from their preseason loss to the Boston Bruins:
That goal was Farabee’s second of the game, both of which were scored on the power-play. For Farabee to become a legitimate power-play weapon would be exciting. There’s clearly room for him to build on the man advantage, as last season he scored three power-play goals, mainly featuring on the second unit (which in fairness is no longer the second unit of old that couldn’t score to save themselves).
However, as much of an overreaction as this may be, pay specific attention to Farabee’s body language after scoring:
Now, he may simply not care about the preseason as much as diehard fans do. But, consider a different explanation. Does this look like the face of a man who’s simply happy with scoring two goals? Now, in a loss, many players wouldn’t be celebrating unless they’ve tied the game, but Farabee doesn’t look satisfied in the slightest. He looks almost annoyed — not angry, but certainly far from contented.
Farabee captained the USNTDP team he played in before his first and only season at Boston University, so it is clear he possesses leadership qualities. For such a young forward, this is exactly what you want to see from Farabee here: the drive and desire to not be satisfied with simply his own personal performance. Even in a preseason game, Farabee wants to win. Especially given some of the perceived apathy coming from the Flyers in the Hakstol days, having players with clear motive and drive to win is a refreshing breath of fresh air, and compliments the new additions the Flyers made over the offseason.
In his top 25 under 25 article, a 55-65 point season was projected for Farabee...
However, a near point-per-game season for Farabee would not be surprising at all. That may seem like a bold prediction, but here’s a bolder one: Farabee leads the Flyers in points by the end of the season.
He’s going to make that contract he signed look very smart by the end of it, that much is looking to be quite clear.