Breaking: Flyers Promote Farabee and Vorobyev, Demote Twarynski to AHL
THEY DID THE THING!
The Philadelphia Flyers announced a series of transactions Sunday evening. Forwards Joel Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev have been promoted to the Flyers, with left winger Carsen Twarynski sent down to make room.
The biggest story of the three is Farabee by far. The fourteenth overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft lit up the NCAA last year, scoring 36 points in 37 games as a freshman. He also performed well in Team USA's silver medal run at the World Junior Championships, scoring 5 goals, including a hat-trick.
After turning pro over the summer, the 19-year old, a favorite to make the Flyers out of training camp due to a hole at the 3rd line wing, looked very solid during preseason. Farabee was all over the ice during most exhibition games, winning board battles and using his stellar hockey IQ to his advantage in all three zones. However, despite some incredible chances, Farabee failed to score a goal during the preseason, hitting the post multiple times.
In the final episode of NHL Network's Behind the Glass inside look at the Flyers camp, Alain Vigneault said he thought it'd be a good idea to start Farabee with the Phantoms because his confidence was down from all of those close misses. If finishing was the Flyers main concern with Farabee, he's done a great job at rectifying it. Farabee scored a goal in each of his first three AHL games, adding an assist in his fourth. He was also named the Phantoms Player of the Week.
Expectations will be high surrounding Farabee. As a team, the Flyers have also been struggling to finish their scoring chances, scoring just eight five-on-five goals in their first six games. Expecting Farabee to dominate and score like a mad man right of the hop at the NHL level isn't a great idea. Farabee does have all of the tools to succeed with the Flyers, and for the record, I think he will do just that. But he's probably not going to be a superstar from day one.
While most fans are focused on Farabee's promotion, Mikhail Vorobyev's re-call has me very interested as well. Vorobyev was taken in the 4th round by the Flyers in 2015. Regarded as a solid two-way forward with great vision and passing instincts, Vorobyev made the Flyers out of training camp last year, beginning at 3rd line center. His NHL career got off to a good start, as he scored an assist and then a goal in his first two games. But from there, it was all down hill. Vorobyev looked overwhelmed and was outworked frequently. After playing six more games and spending some time in the press box, Vorobyev was sent back down.
After the all star break, Vorobyev was called back up. However, playing for a different head coach (Scott Gordon) who was actually able to trust young players, Vorobyev still struggled. His compete level and work ethic were called into question, as Vorobyev played in eight games (with under 10 minutes of TOI each game) before being sent down for good. He did have a productive season for the Phantoms, scoring 26 points in 42 games, and started this year with 4 points in 5 contests. But very few players get three chances to establish themselves as impact players in the NHL and do so. Hopefully, Vorobyev can be different.
Twarynski's demotion is a bit of a surprise. Each of the last two seasons he has had an excellent training camp, displaying a nose for the net, willingness to go into the corners (and the ability to succeed there), and physicality. But he didn't have an amazing first pro seasons for the Phantoms, scoring just 24 points in 69 games. Unlike Bunnaman, Twarynski did NHL ready, even scoring his first career goal eight days ago in Vancouver. But he was far from NHL dominate, posting a poor 42.57% Corsi For and 46.90% xG, despite starting over 62% of shifts in the offensive zone. Maybe he could've figured things out with more time, but it's certainly not a glaring mistake to give Twarynski more AHL experience.
It's highly unlikely that any of the decisions will save or sink the Flyers season. But it's hard to look at the promotions of Farabee (69.14% Corsi For!) and Vorobyev (58.65% CF) and not think the Flyers just got better. Both players are going to have to work hard in order to maintain their spot in the Flyers lineup, but they have the skillset and the chance to help the Flyers out.
Also, watch this and tell me you're now not smiling ear to ear.