Earlier today the Flyers signed defender Mark Friedman to an Entry Level Contract. Friedman was taken in Round 3, 86th overall in the 2014 Draft in Philadelphia. He’s spent three years at Bowling Green University.
Friedman’s NCAA Numbers don’t jump out offensively, but that doesn’t preclude him from producing at the NHL level.
Per Rob Vollman’s translation factors, the WCHA, where Friedman played in the NCAA, is the best division in terms of point per page translation. This division has produced notable NHL names like Jon Toews, Joe Pavelski, Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter. Two current Flyers are WCHA products: Matt Read and Chris VandeVelde.
So, based on the .44 number from Vollman, and Friedman’s 26 points in 40 games, we would expect Friedman to produce .286 points per game at the NHL level, or 23 points per 82 games. This may not seem impressive, but the pace for 62 games is 18 points, while Andrew MacDonald has 16 points in 62 games played as of this writing.
Friedman’s a right handed shot, which has more value in the NHL as in a given season 70% of NHL defenders are left-handed shots. Currently, the only top tier right handed defense prospect is Phil Myers, so getting any value from Friedman is a huge boost to the Flyers defense corps.
With regards to Friedman, he’s automatically exempt from the expansion draft so barring a trade, he’s staying with the Flyers organization. He’ll likely get ice time with the Phantoms for the rest of the season and that will hopefully include a deep playoff run to help him develop.
Going forward, the Flyers have Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin and Robert Hagg all likely competing for the roster spots vacated by the traded Mark Streit, and the expiring deals of Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto. As such, Friedman should be able to log big minutes in the AHL next season.
In a perfect world, the Flyers don’t re-sign Schultz and Del Zotto, and Andrew MacDonald is plucked by Las Vegas leaving the Flyers defense like this for next season.
This would leave Friedman in a place to play in the top pair on the Phantoms. Three rookies may be an iffy scenario for the NHL club, but the Flyers prospects are deep and highly talented and given some of the bigger money deals on the Flyers books, having four ELC’s would go a long way to keeping cap room free.