Photo via All Over Press
With the Flyers in a cap bind for next season, any chance to add cheap talent is a must. Luckily there are a few undrafted UFA’s out there who can make some immediate contributions to the Flyers lineup.
Artemi Panarin (or Artem Panarin or Artemy Panarin depending on where you go) is a top flight KHLer who would be an absolute steal for the Flyers. He just led his SKA St. Petersburg team in scoring this past season, playing with Ilya Kovalchuk. Most importantly however, he’s 22 years old, and at 5’11 170 lbs, isn’t too small for the NHL.
In this past KHL season, Panarin was good for 1.15 points per game, which translates to .896 points per game in the NHL or 73 points per 82.
While playing with Kovalchuk likely inflated Panarin’s scoring ability, the Flyers can do the same by making sure Panarin plays with Claude Giroux and/or Jake Voracek. If the Flyers use him right, Panarin will score and he will score a lot. Most importantly, a 73 point forward is a good top line scorer.
Panarin’s bound by the entry level contract system, the Flyers offer needs to be simple: guarantee the rookie max of $925,000 and sell him on playing with Giroux and Voracek right from the get go. Show him the defensive prospects and Mason’s elite goaltending. Panarin’s 22, he can grow with the team and hit his time with the Flyers deep defensive core.