Claude Giroux is one of the best players in the game today, there is no doubt about that. On the other hand, Jakub Voracek is still an under-the-radar type of guy to most teams and fans in the league. Together they have formed one of the leagues best duos. However, it has been a struggle to find a good winger that fit on the Philadelphia Flyers top line with them. Scott Hartnell got most of those minutes last season, but even he was juggled around a bit. After trading Hartnell the identity of the Flyers lines had changed. No one was really sure who would go where, and that still seems to be the case with head coach Craig Berube already changing the lines between and even during games.
Brayden Schenn has also been given a chance there at the start of these past two seasons. The natural center turned left-wing due to the Flyers logic has yet to gel anywhere. The constant yo-yoing his position hasn’t allowed any stability in the youngster’s development. Once again he was given less than a two game tryout as the top line left wing before being dropped back down to the second line.
Enter Michael Raffl. The Austrian winger signed a one-year deal with the Flyers during he 2013 offseason and was re-signed for two more years this past March due to his performance. Prior to joining the Philadelphia organization, Raffl played for Leksands IF in the Swedish Hockey League, comparable to AHL level in North America. In his two seasons there, he scored 34 goals and 35 assists for 69 points in 88 games, with 46 of those points coming in the 2012-13 season in just 49 games. Raffl played just two games for the Phantoms, Philadelphia’s AHL club, and tallied three points in two games. Raffl also got a look during the 2014 Olympics, tallying 3 points in Austria’s 4 games.
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