Chuck Fletcher locked up another one of the Flyers’ key pieces.
On Thursday, the general manager signed premium young player in Joel Farabee to a six-year, $30-million ($5-million AAV) extension. The 21-year-old still has one year remaining on his rookie contract, making this deal keep him in Philadelphia through the 2027-28 season.
Since being selected by the Flyers at 14th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, Farabee has surprised all by how quickly he was able to adapt at the top level and has quickly become one of the top offensive threats on this club.
Last season was certainly a breakout season for him, and in just his second year in the league he was able to score 20 goals and 38 points in 55 games, leading the Flyers in goals scored and a point total good enough for fifth. He did all of this while averaging 16 minutes a game.
With only two seasons of experience — and both incomplete ones — it’s certainly a risk signing him to a long-term deal that takes him through all of his control and puts his unrestricted free agency away. But at such a low cost for what he has been able to display so far, that $5-million cap hit is going to seem like pennies even if his production stagnates where it is currently.
Getting this contract done and over with makes next summer much easier, and the cap structure clearer. There are plenty of expiring deals — some significant like Claude Giroux, some other hefty ones like Rasmus Ristolainen potentially lightening the load — so there is going to be some shuffling around, but this cements at least one potential worry. And with all the complex RFA deals and still dozens of young forwards without contracts this summer, the Flyers completely avoided that situation and the risk of a disastrously devilish offer sheet.
Farabee gets some security through his prime years, and the Flyers still get a very good player on a contract that you can’t ever complain about.