There is an abundance of milestones set to be hit in 2021-22 by many Philadelphia Flyers players. Some big ones are also coming from several defensemen on the roster, and barring any injuries, all of these listed individual milestones will be reached this season. The top-10 is as follows:
10. Scott Laughton’s Physical Play Pushes Him to 750 Hits
A reliable, hard-working player that will bring it each night, Laughton is set for a couple of milestones as he progresses further into his career. The first is reaching 400 games played. With 26 games to go, there should be no issue for him to pass this number by a long shot. The other milestone that will come later in the year is 750 career hits. He plays a tough game, and with north of 100 hits in each of the past four seasons, this will be no problem to get 71 by the end of the season.
9. Martin Jones Wins His 200th Game
Jones joins the third team in his career. With minimum starts in a backup role behind an excellent Jonathan Quick in his prime, he didn’t get his career rolling until he became a member of the San Jose Sharks. Once there, his win total took off, topping 30 for four consecutive years until the pandemic hit and the team’s fall from the top.
Despite his numbers not being there and playing for a team at the bottom of the league, Jones has still managed to get at least 15 wins every season since making the move across California to the Sharks. He will serve in a backup role this season, but you never know what can happen. Carter Hart could have another year as he did in 2020-21, and Jones may have to step up and provide quality starts. Even in a backup role, Jones has a decent shot at reaching 200 wins if he wins 14 games for the Flyers.
8. Ivan Provorov Bounces Back to Reach 200 Points
With a full season ahead and a Flyers roster that will have a chip on their shoulder to prove they are contenders, Provorov will have to help lead that charge. He will have to push himself and perform well throughout the year to record 41 points and hit the 200-point mark. Having reached 41 points back in 2017-18, we all know it is possible. On a team that is performing well, too, it’s even more likely. On top of reaching the 41-point mark in a season once, he was on pace to exceed that in 2019-20.
Along with the points milestone in play for Provorov, he will play his 400th NHL game in 29 games. He will also breeze by 750 blocked shots. This defender has recorded over 100 shot blocks in each of his five seasons, so a mere 49 to hit 750 is a walk in the park.
7. Ryan Ellis Blocks His 1,000th Shot
The first of the defenders that the Flyers brought in this past off-season that will hit milestones this season and appear on this list. Ellis brings with him the opportunity to be one of the main talks of the team individually in 2021-22. He is set and will hit four different milestones this season. The first and most impressive is 1,000 blocked shots. Injuries and shortened seasons have slowed his progression to 1,000 blocks, but with a full 82 game slate, he will get in front of 129 shots to hit this milestone by the season’s end. I am confident that this mark will be reached, as he has blocked more than 100 shots in his past three seasons, where he’s played north of 70 games.
With the offensive prowess of Ellis, 30 points shouldn’t be too hard while playing top-pairing minutes. Before last season where he only got in 35 games, he had been able to top 30 points in five consecutive seasons. If he records 30 points, it gets him to the 300-point mark in his career. The 200-assists mark is even closer on the horizon. He is only five assists away from reaching that milestone and should happen early in the season. The last of the individual accomplishments that Ellis will achieve this year is playing in his 600th game. He is 38 games away and should hit that with no difficulties.
6. Derick Brassard Wins Draw No. 5,000
Brassard’s long career with many paths has led him to Philadelphia. On this journey through eight teams, he has eclipsed 4,963 faceoff wins. By winning over 5.5 draws a night, he should have no trouble reaching 5,000 faceoff wins within the first 10 games of the season. All he needs is 37. As a middle to bottom-six player his whole career, becoming the 104th player to reach 5,000 is impressive. To go along with that, at some point during the 2021-22 campaign, Brassard will score six goals to get him to 200 in his career.
5. Sean Couturier Soars to Half-Century Mark in Points
At the point where Couturier is in his career, 57 points will be a cakewalk for him. He just needs as much to reach 500 for his career. Ever since breaking out in a big way in 2017-18, he has been on a mission, and I say he gets to the 500-point mark by game 60 of the season.
In close contention is his career games. Couturier only needs 58 more games to reach played 750 career games. He should reach both the points and games played milestones right around the same time and be on to the next as he is right in the prime of his career.
4. Rasmus Ristolainen Smashes His Way to 1,500 Hits
A 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds beast on the ice, Ristolainen is going to hit everything in sight and play like he always has on the road to 1,500 hits. The 145 hits he needs are nothing compared to what he usually dishes out each season. He hasn’t hit less than 193 times in a season over the past five years. He should reach 1,500 in the second half, but he is going to achieve it.
You shouldn’t be only watching for the bodies Ristolainen will be leaving in his wake, but the points he is going to contribute too. He is going to reach milestones in goals (50), assists (200), and points (250) this season. He is four goals shy, one assist short, and five points back if you do the math.
3. Justin Braun Reaches 1,250 Blocks, 1,000 Hits
Stay at home defender Braun will look to blow through a few individual milestones as the season progresses. None will be reachable right away, but all will be accomplished at some point in 2021-22. He is a player who will go out and put his body on the line while not missing much time in the process. That being said, 28 games played will come sooner than later on the road to 750.
The duo of impressive milestones Braun will hit late in the season are 1,250 blocked shots and 1,000 hits. He has averaged 92 hits per season throughout his career, and with the style of game he plays, he will get 54 without question. As for blocked shots, he started to step up and get in front of shots in his fourth season. Since then, he has exceeded 120 blocks six times in eight seasons, the last two being shortened seasons. Blocking shots will be integral to their success for a Flyers team that allowed the most goals against this past season.
2. Claude Giroux Plays His 1,000th Game
Next to the No. 1 man on this list, fans should be most excited for Giroux’s 1,000-game milestone. A career Flyer, he is entering his 15th season as a member of this organization. The captain will play 57 games in 2021-22 and hit 1,000, and it is extraordinary for him to do it all with one team.
Along with becoming the newest member of the 1,000 game club, Giroux will also hit two offensive milestones. Close to a point-per-game player, he needs just 42 to reach 900 in his career. Having done that in every year since his rookie season in 2008-09, it’s not much to handle while on the Flyers’ top line. He will also reach 600 assists, as 15 is nothing for the playmaker who has exceeded 15 in all 14 seasons.
1. Keith Yandle Breaks Iron Man Streak
Not only one of the most exciting storylines to follow for the Flyers but for the entire league. This record has gone untouched since Doug Jarvis’ ended at 964 consecutive games in 1987. Yandle joins this squad with an excellent chance to become the NHL’s new iron man. He currently sits 42 games back of the record, and his chances look good.
Overshadowed by the iron man streak are Yandle’s point totals, one in particular. He is just two assists away from reaching 500 in his career, which is impressive in its own right. That will indeed be lost in the excitement and anticipation every night to add a game to the streak. Watch closely for this milestone to begin the year.
Flyers’ Honourable Mentions for 2021-22
- Carter Hart- 1 win to 50
- Travis Konecny- 6 goals to 100, 51 games to 400
- Oskar Lindblom- 29 points to 100, 16 games to 200
- Nate Thompson- 3 assists to 100
- Travis Sanheim- 15 points to 100
- Joel Farabee- 41 points to 100
- Nicolas Aube-Kubel- 5 games to 100
From an ironman streak to points and games played, there are so many milestones to watch out for throughout the season, starting from day one to possibly the last game of the season. Keep an even closer eye on the defensive group this year, as their accomplishments should shine the brightest.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with NHL Stats News, trade talks, and daily betting guides.
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