General manager (GM) Chuck Fletcher made no splashy offseason additions to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just months after his vow to “aggressively retool” the roster in response to a disastrous 2021-22 season, he stood idle while coveted free agent Johnny Gaudreau went to a Metropolitan Division opponent. Despite the heated backlash the organization received, a large part of Fletcher’s reasoning was to allow for the proper evaluation of young players in 2022-23.

“Some of these players now, they’re young, but they’ve had some experience, players like (Morgan) Frost and (Owen) Tippett for example. Even (Wade) Allison and (Tanner) Laczynski are 25 now. At some point, you’ve got to grab that opportunity, and you’ve got to rise above what (former interim head coach) Mike Yeo spoke about last year. And you hope that with continued experience and getting these reps, that that’s something they can grow into, where their game doesn’t change regardless of the score, and they can continue to take steps forward, and I’d be surprised if many of them don’t.”

-Chuck Fletcher

Young defensemen like Egor Zamula, Cam York, and Ronnie Attard will have some time to develop, whether it’s with the big club in the NHL or with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL). Five forwards on the current roster, however, are staring their NHL futures in the face. If they can’t take advantage of the opportunities given to them by a team with no expectations for contention this season, they won’t be considered NHL-caliber players much longer.

Morgan Frost

Frost entered the NHL with the highest expectations of any of the five players on the list. He shot up the prospect rankings after back-to-back seasons with over 100 points in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2017-18 and 2018-19. The sluggish start to his NHL career is due to a combination of injuries and underperformance. The 23-year-old failed to take advantage of glaring holes at the center position for Philadelphia last season after a mountain of injuries piled up.

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