After a breakout 2021 season, the Flyers locked up 2018 1st round pick Joel Farabee on a long-term extension. ( Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Joel Farabee Signs 6-Year, $30 Million Extension With The Flyers

Just when you thought things were settling down, the Flyers crazy offseason picked back up on the second day of September. A time where most GMs and insiders are still relaxing at their various cottages was just another opportunity for Chuck Fletcher to make a significant stamp on his team’s future. And fittingly, perhaps the last major transaction in Philadelphia’s busy-as-a-bee offseason is a six-year, $30 million extension for the Beezer – better known as Joel Farabee.

Selected 14th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, Farabee’s career trajectory has been on a steady trajectory ever since. Farabee scored 36 points in 37 games in what turned out to be his only season at Boston University. He turned pro in 2019-20, and after a very brief four-game AHL stint, Farabee was called up to the NHL, where he spent nearly all of the remainder of his season, scoring 21 points in 52 games. He then added 5 more in 12 playoff contests.

Once again in 2020-21, Farabee took a leap forward, progressing from top prospect to solid rookie to impact scorer. The NHL sophomore led the Flyers with 20 goals in 55 games and scored at a 57-point pace (over 82 games), emerging as one of the few bright spots in a season that hit the Flyers hard, especially their under-25 talent. With his entry-level contract set to expire at the end of this season, the Flyers didn’t wait for Farabee to become an RFA and locked down the 21-year old on a six-year pact, securing all of Farabee’s years of team control, plus buying out two UFA years.

Farabee will probably never be one of the sport’s faces. But he certainly proved last season that he is a up-and-coming impact player. Farabee’s hockey IQ has been heralded dating back to before he was even drafted, and his plus shot has certainly translated to the NHL level. As he gets bigger and stronger, that could translate into becoming a truly great possession player. And is Farabee not just capable of putting up points; he’s a versatile player who can suit up at left or right wing and produce not just at 5v5, but also on the power-play and penalty-kill. He’ll even drop the gloves on occasion. Few players can say the same, especially at such a young age.

That being said, it wouldn’t be a dramatic surprise to see Farabee’s offensive totals maybe take a slight step back in 2021-22. Last season, Farabee scored on 16.4% of his shots, tied for 36th in the NHL. That’s higher than some pretty talented players like Sebastian Aho, Artemi Panarin, Sidney Crosby, and his fellow recently extended teammate Sean Couturier, just to name a few. Odds are that number drops to the 12-13% range next season (Farabee’s career average is 13.8%; he shot 9.9% as a rookie). The Flyers also have plenty of candidates for PP and top-six ice-time. So that could maybe squeeze Farabee into more of a third-line defensive role. But he should still be a productive player; 40 points seems like a realistic floor for Farabee’s offensive output this season.

Make sure you check out our Flyers season preview for more insights on Farabee and friends.

There’s always a bit of a risk when you extend a player for six years. Especially one like Farabee who has just 107 NHL games to his name. But Farabee has always been a player with a pretty high floor, which helps mitigate that risk. As a rookie, Farabee scored at a 33-point player and put up decent underlying numbers; just under break even by Corsi, and a solid 52% expected goals percentage. That’s a valuable player right then and there; not a $5 million player, but a valuable one.

The 2021 version of Farabee is certainly worth this price tag. Even if his shooting percentage (and therefore his goal totals) come slightly down, that still leaves Farabee, a player who’s more than his offense, at around 45-to-50-point pace. CapFriendly’s contract comparable tool lists very good players like Conor Garland, Alex Tuch, Travis Konecny, and Oliver Bjorkstrand as some of his best comparables, given their production, age, and contracts. And if he keeps building off last year’s breakout? Then the deal could become an absolute steal.

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All Advanced Stats are 5-on-5 unless otherwise stated and via Natural Stat Trick