Photo via WCHA
Tanner Kero is finishing up his Senior year at Michigan Tech this season. He’s also undrafted and has the potential to fill in a useful roster spot next season.
Kero finished with a solid .733 points per game ration in 4 years at Michigan Tech. What makes this more impressive is the fact that the WCHA has one of the better scoring translations to the NHL.
At .42 points per game; the WCHA is better than the professional Swiss League and Finnish Leagues. This is very impressive and speaks highly of the NCAA talent. In fact; it’s nearly 50% better than the scoring power of the OHL, the best Major Junior league in Canada. Because of that, Kero’s NHL point per game ratio projects as .308 or 25 points per 82 games. More importantly, the NHL-E’s are most used for consecutive seasons; as such Kero’s 1.18421 point per game senior season projects out .5 points per game in the NHL or 41 points per season.
A 25-41 point forward is anywhere from an good third line wing to good second line wing. Basically, Tanner Kero projects very similarly to Matt Read.
The Flyers would do well to consider adding Tanner Kero. They may have to part ways with Matt Read in order to bolster the defense and shed money to get cap compliant. Should Read by required to acquire that elusive top defender, Kero is another player who can step in to the middle six wing slot right away.
Another place where Kero would work is as a stop gap while prospects Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Oskar Lindblom develop into NHL ready talents. The Flyers forward depth, could be amazing, especially if the Flyers are willing to bury dead weights like Zac Rinaldo in the minors and Vinny Lecavalier and RJ Umberger in the press box.
Assuming Kero takes a middle six forward slot, the Flyers could roll the following lines next season:
Michael Raffl-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Jake Voracek
Tanner Kero-Brayden Schenn-Nick Cousins
Chris VandeVelde-Scott Laughton-Ryan White
Those four lines are quite strong, and the Flyers could part ways with Laughton or Read if needed to land a top pair defender. Most importantly, if the Flyers can get some solid production from a cheap contract, they can stomach the idea of burying Umberger and Lecavalier in the pressbox.