Philadelphia Flyers: Now, all eyes turn to Morgan Frost

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Do you like Sean Couturier?

If not, you’d better start, as he’s not going anywhere after inking a massive eight-year, $62 million deal to remain with the Philadelphia Flyers until 2030.

Is that a lot of money to guarantee to any one player? Yes. Is Couturier worth it? Yes. Should Philly fans be stoked on this deal? Heck yes.

But just because Couts is locked up long-term doesn’t mean the Flyers can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the fleeting moments of Summer before we gear up for hockey season in the not-too-distant future.

No, even after turning over a third of the roster via trade, adding some intriguing free agents, and signing both Couturier and Carter Hart to extensions, Chuck Fletcher and company still have to settle on who will be their fourth-line center heading into the 2021 and whether or not Mogan Frost can fill the shoes left by Nolan Patrick.

Morgan Frost needs to step up for the Philadelphia Flyers.

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The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Morgan Frost 27th overall for a reason.

Despite having already selected Nolan Patrick 25 picks earlier, the team opted to return to the Great White North of Aurora, Ontario, Canada to pluck a crafty playmaker out of the OHL in order to further fortify their farm system moving forward.

Though some initially quibbled with where Frost was selected, as The Hockey Writers believed he’d be selected somewhere in the upper mid-second round, few did so because he lacked the skills to eventually become a NHL contributor.

No, Frost’s biggest knocks centered around the volume of his shooting and his lack of general bulk, which is rather hard to understand given he racked up 221 points over his final two seasons in the OHL as a top-liner for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Still, while Patrick played a role for the Philadelphia Flyers, Frost remained in Lehigh with the Phantoms, where he appeared in 41 games as a rookie.

Because of the nature of two-way contracts, Frost did see some action with the Flyers during his rookie season, earning 20 appearances for the team in 2019-20, but he only recorded seven points during his time and didn’t exactly light the world on fire with his on-ice play.

Had Frost remained healthy in 2020-21, maybe he would have stepped up and built on his rookie campaign, but unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be. Frost suffered a dislocated left shoulder back in January that effectively ended his sophomore season before it could begin and he had to watch the rest of the campaign on IR.

But now, with his shoulder fully healthy and Patrick a member of the Golden Knights of Vegas, Frost has a golden opportunity to step up and become a fixture of the Flyers’ bottom-six in the final year of his initial rookie contract.

Whether tasked with filling Patrick’s role as a third-liner or sliding into the bottom line role filled by Scott Laughton, Frost could bring a playmaking ability to the Flyers’ bottom-six that has been missing over the past few years, as neither of the aforementioned players ever put up 20-plus assists in a single NHL season.

Frost, for what it’s worth, recorded two 70 assist seasons during his time with the Greyhounds and is a willing passer capable of getting points on the board for both himself and his teammates. If he can translate that aspect of his game onto the Flyers, it’ll be one heck of a boon for a team lacking in young contributors who are simultaneously attempting to win now.

If Morgan Frost can become a player for the Flyers at the tender age of 22, it’ll be a fantastic addition.

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At this point, the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t looking to build a robust farm system designed to remain viable to win for years to come. If that was their intention, Nolan Patrick would still be a member of the team. But just because the team wants to win now doesn’t mean they can’t find young, ascending contributors to fill out their depth chart moving forward. If Morgan Frost can fit that bill, it will be a fantastic opportunity for all parties involved.