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Flyers ink another young forward to contract extension

Poehling has 14 points in his first season with the Flyers, four away from setting a new career high

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Danny Briere and John Tortorella loved that Ryan Poehling bet on himself last offseason by signing just a one-year contract with the Flyers.

The bet paid off.

Poehling earned a contract extension Friday, a deal that became official Saturday. The Flyers inked the 25-year-old center to a two-year, $3.8 million deal. The contract has a $1.9 million average annual value.

On July 1 last summer, Poehling joined the Flyers' rebuild with a one-year, $1.4 million contract.

Owen Tippett, who turns 25 next month, also landed an extension Friday.

In 44 games with the Flyers, Poehling has put up 14 points (five goals, nine assists), four away from setting a new career high. Tortorella has liked Poehling's length and speed in the Flyers' bottom six and on the penalty kill.

"He can help us in many different facets," Briere said Friday night. "The age group obviously, that was part of the reason with the signing in the summertime. We felt that we had a chance to add a bigger body in the age group that we were looking for, that can maybe come together with us, with our young guys. He has been a great fit.

"Torts has really enjoyed him, likes that he can use him on the PK, for faceoffs. His speed and size combination helps us because of having a few smaller-sized wingers.

"It's a contract that's fair for both sides. It's not super long and it gives him the chance to maybe even solidify himself and achieve a bigger contract if he performs well down the road. For us, it gives us a couple of years to see him and let him grow with our young core."

The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder has a shorthanded goal, leads all Flyers forwards in blocked shots with 43 and has played 1:37 minutes per game on the PK. The Flyers entered Friday with the NHL's second-best penalty kill percentage at 85.6.

"I think the type of person he is, he's a character guy, obviously he showed it by betting on himself," Briere said last offseason, his first as the Flyers' general manager. "Shows the type of character, he didn't take the longer, secure deal. He wants to earn it."

Poehling has benefited from more opportunity on a Flyers team that was looking to get younger this season.

"I've always, throughout my life, just wanted to be a part of something special, being a big part of something that starts from the ground up," he said after signing with the Flyers in free agency last July. "I think this is an opportunity to do just that."

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