Wayne Simmonds Ready to Have a Career Season

The Philadelphia Flyers have some great young forwards on the roster and even at age 26, Wayne Simmonds is still considered young. wayne simmonds Flyers

He started the season on a tear, but as all hot streaks end, a slump began for Simmonds. He finished the season with 28 goals, 22 assists (50 points), was a minus-five skater, 166 hits and he accumulated 66 penalty minutes.

It’s fair to say that Simmonds had a pretty good season, especially considering he missed the end of the season and still led the Flyers in goals scored. It was later reported that Simmonds had a fractured left leg.

What Does Wayne Simmonds Do So Well?

He is not a scoring champion, but he can shoot the puck with the best of them. Simmonds is not the biggest hitter, but he can throw his body around.

What Wayne Simmonds does better than just about anyone in the league is he’s an aggressive player (and aggressive in the good way). He stands up for teammates, he swings the momentum of games with big hits and he’s what one would consider an ideal Flyer to be.

Simmonds is a leader, he’s determined and has already claimed the Flyers will return to playoff contention next season.

We definitely think we have a playoff team, we definitely have the skill, the talent, we just had too many inconsistencies this year. You know talking to all the guys, everyone is extremely disappointed and this can’t happen again. I’m going to strive to get better, that’s the name of the game. The Flyers have a great history, every time you put on that jersey you should wear it with pride. Obviously this is not acceptable and it can’t happen again.

Simmonds’ Performance

Simmonds has developed into one of the most vocal and passionate leaders in the Flyers locker room and he truly wants to improve in every way possible.

(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

While his 50 points were a great accomplishment, there has been criticism of Simmonds’ even strength play. Some even claim that his statistics were inflated by the his phenomenal performance on the power play.

Simmonds was on the ice for 957:54 of even strength time and the Flyers scored 2.004 goals (all statistics will be per sixty minutes played) and allowed 1.942 goals. However, in his 220:46 on the power play, the Flyers scored a monstrous 10.056 goals and allowed just 1.087.

*Data courtesy of Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com*

He was ranked as one of the six most overrated players in the NHL and  Jimmy Hascup, the author, does bring up an excellent point. At the time of writing, 43 of his 90 goals over the last four years, had been on the powerplay.

Wayne Simmonds Even Strength Production
Wayne Simmonds Even Strength Production

What is quite interesting is that Simmonds’ production at even strength has actually fallen for the last six seasons.

Given how hard he works and wants to improve, there’s a very good chance that this trend could be reversed next season. Especially when you consider he plays with some of the best forwards in the league (Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek).

Currently, Simmonds has four seasons remaining on a six-year contract that has an annual cap hit of $3.975 million.  If Simmonds can hone his even strength play, Philadelphia will have quite a bargain of a contract and he could help push them back into playoff contention.