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Joel Farabee Has Put Nightmarish 2022-23 Season to Rest; On Pace to Shatter Career-Highs With 30 Games Remaining

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers slumped their way into the All-Star break and subsequent bye week riding a 5-game losing streak. They looked deflated, sluggish, and at times uninterested as they quickly dug themselves into multi-goal deficits in the first period.

It didn’t help that forward Owen Tippett was placed on IR and then goaltender Carter Hart was granted an indefinite leave of absence from the club – it was also no coincidence that their slump coincided with the loss of their starting netminder and one of the their better scoring options. Nevertheless, Joel Farabee was one of the few Flyers still lighting the lamp in what has been a career-season for the youngster.

Even though the Flyers suffered through large deficits game in and game out, they showed a good bout of resiliency and fight as they never gave up on any of their games when in previous seasons they would have folded like a cheap tent. In a way, the All-Star break came at the right time for the Flyers as they were slowly losing their grip on the final playoff position in the Metropolitan Division. Perhaps for Farabee, the All-Star break came at the worst time as he was on a roll before their final two games.

After a miserable 2022-23 season that saw him endure a 26-game goal drought, a game of miscommunication between his agent and head coach, and a sluggish season possibly derailed by rushing back to the lineup too quickly, he has truly blossomed into the first round talent many believed him to be.

On the season, Farabee has 17 goals, 23 assists, 40 points, 120 shots, 41 blocked shots and is averaging 16:05 TOI.  Through just 50 games into the 2023-24 season, Farabee is 3 goals away from tying his career-high in goals set in 2020-21, 1 assist shy from his 24 he had last year, and he has already eclipsed the 39 points from last year as well. Last season he played in all 82 games but scored just 15 goals and 39 points.

After snapping his goal-drought, Farabee ended the 2022-23 season with 6 goals and 12 points in his final 15 games and looked like a completely different player. He rode that momentum into the 2023-24 season as he started the year with 6 goals and 12 points in his first 14 games before enduring his worst drought of the season with just 2 goals and an assist through his next 11 games, which included a 6-game pointless streak.

Since then, he has added 9 goals and 25 points in 25 games while averaging 17:22 TOI and had his 7-game point streak snapped against Detroit but not before adding 5 goals and 10 points in that stretch.

After starting the season primarily on the third line, Farabee has been a staple in the top-6 playing alongside Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier. In fact, he’s averaged 17:11 TOI since being benched after just seeing 56 seconds of ice-time in an overtime defeat against the New Jersey Devils. The soon-to-be 24-year-old is playing to his first round moniker and it’s absolutely paramount he continues to down the stretch for a club that is starving for goals and production.

Farabee’s underlying numbers should also not go unnoticed as he has improved dramatically since last season. His CF% is up to 53.6% from 47.1, his CF% rel is up to 3.1 from 0.4, his FF% is currently at 55.4 compared to the 47.5 he set last year, and his FF% rel is up from 3.2 to -0.3.

Another impressive feat about Farabee’s production this season is that it has once again come primarily while playing even-strength hockey. It’s no secret that the Flyers power play is beyond putrid and if they could connect at mid-table production, they would not only be way higher up in the standings but the players themselves would be benefitting.

The Flyers as a whole have only scored 21 power play goals and to put that into perspective, Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart has 2o goals on the man advantage alone. 10 more players have about half of what the Flyers have produced as a team. Couturier and Tyson Foerster pace the club with 3 tallies each while Farabee is tied for first with 6 power play points with 5 other players.

He has accumulated 34 points while on even strength and the shocking thing is that he has just 20 power play points for his career, one that has spanned parts of 5 seasons. The Flyers have been dead last with the extra man for last the 2+ seasons but it just shines a light on their even strength play and primarily on Farabee this season.

Last year, he had just 2 power play assists amongst his 39 total points and this year he is just one 3 players in the entire league with more than 33 5v5 points heading into the All- Star brea – alongside MVP frontrunners Nikita Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon.

The Syracuse, New York native has always had a knack for scoring and has been one of the better players for his draft class. Farabee was coming off a draft year where he scored 15 goals and 40 points in just 26 games for the USNTDP Juniors before adding another 33 goals and 76 points in 62 games for the U.S. National U18 Team.

That offensive production translated further into his lone season at college for Boston University where he scored 17 goals and 36 points in 37 games and added another 3 goals and 5 points in 7 games at the World Juniors. Since then he’s been a staple in the Flyers lineup, albeit playing different roles and with a different cast nearly every season.

The 2023-24 version of Farabee has changed his game from relying on his skill to getting to the dirty areas and finishing off in-tight passes, rebounds, deflections, and scrums. The 2020-21 Farabee who captured his first and only 20-goal season has dealt with a myriad of injuries and stoppages since but it looks like he has rediscovered his groove as he sits 3rd on the club in goals and 2nd in points.

The Flyers are going to need more from Farabee in the second half of the season but based on how well he played in the first 50 games and how he has been one of the most consistent even strength producers since his rookie season, he should be well on his way to shattering his previous highs.

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