The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October.
In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances.
Today we will be looking at rookie Joel Farabee.
After watching his rookie season at Boston University, during the NCAA 2018-19 season, I had a strong feeling it wouldn't be long until he found himself as a rookie once more, but with the Flyers. His natural instincts and abilities to transition from one league to another - and so quickly - should not to be overlooked. Given he's only 20 years old, it just makes things even more impressive.
One of the biggest shocks in October was hearing he wasn't going to dress for the season opener in Prague, considering he made his mark quite prominently during training camp and the preseason. Once the Flyers returned to Philadelphia, he was on his way to the Phantoms … but as you know, that didn't last very long. After four games, he got the call to make his Flyers debut.
It took him only six games as a pro to tally his first NHL goal and there was no going back after that. Through 52 games in 2019-20, he collected 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) and remained an element of surprise for the Flyers who was hidden in the roster.
Though he averaged 14:06 minutes of ice time, he made his presence known with every shift, which is promising for the rookie and his future. It won't take long for him to truly come into his own as a player and continue finding ways to dominate, regardless of which line he falls on that specific game.
Let's give Farabee a B and a round of applause for Young Beezer's solid first season in the league.
This was a player during the preseason that Alain Vigneault said "if he's not in the lineup that first game, it would be a surprise." While clearly making a positive impression during training camp, the Flyers' 2018 first-round pick didn't find himself in the lineup for the season opener - but it didn't take long for him to make his NHL debut.
Farabee was called up for the Flyers' seventh game of the season. His hockey IQ, strong playmaking abilities and defensive skills are just some of the characteristics that proved him to be an NHL-caliber player and keep his spot on the Flyers' bench.
In 52 games, the 20-year-old had 21 points and averaged 14:06 minutes of ice time. He added to the success on the forecheck and special teams. It would have been nice to see more of a sample size from him during the regular season. I felt like he could have been more consistent, but I'm looking forward to seeing his talent progress as he gets more and more games under his belt.
A- rookie season for Farabee.
Farabee brought with him plenty of expectations as is the case with most first-round picks. In his first eight games, Farabee scored two goals and showed signs of a bright future. Like any rookie, Farabee hit a wall in which it looked like he was overmatched and not quite ready for the bright lights of the NHL.
If you look at Farabee's rookie season, what stands out most is a stretch that bridged the team's bye week that included a five-game point streak with four goals and six total points. However, what followed was a slump that netted only three points in Farabee's final 10 games played as the Flyers sent Farabee to the Phantoms for a brief stint to work on his game. Rookie slumps aside, Farabee's rookie season did show that this kid has plenty of potential at the NHL level.
B for Farabee.
There was much to like with Farabee's rookie regular season.
The fact that he conquered college hockey in one year and played 52 NHL games as a 19-year-old the next season is a victory in itself for the Flyers.
They also got a reliable and impactful Farabee. What made him so valuable to the Flyers was that the teenage rookie wasn't score or bust. His smarts with and without the puck made him effective when he wasn't putting up points.
Farabee experienced some learning moments and rough patches, which is common for any first-year player. The 2018 first-round pick can score more and become a true asset on special teams, and those qualities should come as his role grows.
As the stretch run picked up, the Flyers started putting more on his plate and he was answering.
Farabee went through a lot his rookie season. With all things considered, a solid B for the promising 20-year-old.
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