In his super sophomore season, Joel Farabee led the 2018 NHL draft class with 20 goals and 31 even-strength points.
Farabee was taken 14th overall by the Flyers. His early success is a good reminder about the importance of drafting, developing and breeding your own talent.
Players that come up in your system, make an impact and want to stay for a long time.
So far, the Flyers have hit on Farabee, a 21-year-old winger who signed a six-year contract extension on Thursday, marking himself as a foundation piece for the organization's present and future.
And when it comes to drafting and developing, it doesn't hurt when a team gets a kid that knows how to climb.
Farabee has proven to be a serious climber. Fewer than three years ago, he scored his first collegiate goal as a freshman at Boston University. Last season, he led the Flyers in goals. Today, he inked a $30 million extension, a deal that will kick in after this season.
"Just being drafted to Philly I think was probably the best thing for me," Farabee, a native of the Syracuse, New York area, said Thursday. "I'm not far from home, so I was able to pop in the last few summers here, I spent a lot of time here, working on my body and things like that. Definitely feel really good about the people we have here and the guys we have in the room. Definitely looking forward to the future; I think these next few years are going to be some really big years for Philly."
Farabee has been back in the Philadelphia area since early August and training at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey. He'll be meeting more of his new teammates soon. Farabee's extension was the latest headline of a busy offseason for general manager Chuck Fletcher. The Flyers acquired Ryan Ellis, Cam Atkinson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Keith Yandle, Martin Jones, Derick Brassard and Nate Thompson, while parting ways with Jakub Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere, Philippe Myers, Nolan Patrick and Robert Hagg. Fletcher also signed Sean Couturier to an extension and Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin and Connor Bunnaman to new deals.
No doubt, the 2021-22 season is a big one for the Flyers. They're coming off a letdown, playoff-less season in which they surrendered more goals than any other team in hockey at 3.52 per game. They've revamped their roster. And their captain Claude Giroux, the longest-tenured active athlete in Philadelphia, is on the last year of his contract.
"Just locking in some big names like Sanny, Coots and a couple other guys, I think it just really shows the core we're going to have going forward and I think it's a really good core," Farabee said. "We have some great leaders on this team with G, Coots, we've obviously got some older guys coming in this year. I'm really excited to see what the team's going to be like this year. On paper, we look really good, but at the end of the day, we've got to perform and we've got to have a much better year than we did last year."
It's clear the impact guys like Giroux and Couturier, two longtime Flyers, have had on Farabee. On Thursday, the young winger said he hopes he can stay in Philadelphia his whole career.
The Flyers have long tried to build from within and surround Giroux with homegrown talent. While it has been a patient quest and hasn't fruited the playoff results, Farabee is one of the latest to join the process. He joined it quickly, too.
"I think that with the leaders that we have on this team, they're going to really push us, push the young guys," Farabee said. "I really think that we're going to have a really good year and we’re going to break out. Some guys had some down years last year, but I think everyone's mindset is a lot different this year. We're really champing at the bit to get back out there."
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