Photo: Rebecca Castagna
With the NCAA season coming to an end, undrafted college free agents will be in high demand. The Flyers have done well in general with undrafted UFA’s from Junior, college, and Europe finding Matt Read, Michael Raffl, Brandon Manning, Yevgeni Medvedev, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare via this route. One potential player available is Quinnipiac University junior Tim Clifton.
Finishing up this season, Clifton has a line of 17-20-37 in 33 games played. He also is a solid two way player who plays on both the powerplay and penalty kill.
When it comes to projecting how Clifton would do at the NHL level, it’s possible to run Rob Vollman’s updated NHL Equivalency model.
The ECAC, where Clifton plays, has a translation factor of .39 points per game. With 1.12 points per game as of this writing, Clifton would be expected to score .437 points per game in the NHL or 36 points per 82 games. This would make Clifton a solid middle six player.
Also, with the fact that the Flyers could possibly lose current middle six all purpose forward Matt Read in an expansion draft, Clifton would be a solid replacement for that role. Also, given his two-way ability, Clifton’s floor is likely a Chris VandeVelde type for the fourth line and given his potential, Clifton replacing VandeVelde or White on the fourth line would be an instant boost to the depth that the Flyers need at forward.
Since first and second year pro players would be exempt from any expansion draft under the current proposed rules, Clifton would be a guaranteed protected player allowing the Flyers some security in that regard. Also, as he turns 24 in May, Clifton could be either a short term fill in until other younger prospects like Konecny or Lindblom or Aube-Kubel show up or could turn into yet another Matt Read-Michael Raffl type who can help by slotting in anywhere in the lineup where he is needed.