The Philadelphia Flyers have inked a long-term deal with one of their young breakout stars, signing Joel Farabee to a six-year extension. The contract will come into effect for the 2022-23 season and keep Farabee signed through 2027-28. Currently on the last season of his entry-level contract, the extension will carry a $5.0MM average annual value. PuckPedia reports that the deal does not include any trade protection and provide the full breakdown:
- 2022-23: $1.0MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
- 2023-24: $2.25MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
- 2024-25: $3.0MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
- 2025-26: $4.25MM salary + $1.5MM signing bonus
- 2026-27: $6.0MM salary
- 2027-28: $6.0MM salary
Farabee, 21, experienced a true breakout this season, scoring 20 goals and 38 points in 55 games for the Flyers. That perhaps should have been the expectation though after his strong rookie campaign, which saw him post 21 points in 52 games before playing well in the postseason bubble. The 14th overall pick from 2018, Farabee is quickly making teams regret not selecting him higher. He now sits third in goals from that draft class behind only Brady Tkachuk and Andrei Svechnikov despite having played just 107 NHL games to this point.
An extension this early and for this much is a bet that the 2020-21 Farabee wasn’t an illusion and that he will only continue to get better in the years to come. The deal buys out two years of unrestricted free agency and means the Flyers never have to deal with another RFA negotiation or arbitration with the young forward. It also means that there is a real opportunity for excess value in those years if Farabee continues on his strong development path.
Signing a deal of this length now could very well be leaving money on the table, but it obviously gives Farabee security and peace of mind. He gets a good salary for the prime years of his career and will hit the open market with plenty of time to sign another multi-year deal. Any savings he provides can also be used to make the Flyers better over his contracted period, giving him a supporting cast that can help contend.
The Flyers will need those savings too, as they move forward with long-term deals for aging veterans. Sean Couturier recently signed an eight-year extension that will pay him $7.75MM through 2029-30, while Ryan Ellis is entering just the third season of his own eight-year deal that carries a cap hit of $6.25MM. If the Flyers re-sign captain Claude Giroux before he hits unrestricted free agency next summer he too will be an expensive ticket, meaning every dollar they can save on a deal like Farabee’s is important.
Of course, there is always risk when signing a deal of this length as well. There’s no guarantee that his performance this year is indicative of what he’ll provide over the entire deal, and he could always regress or suffer injuries. Still, betting on a 21-year-old who has shown he can be a 20-goal scorer in a shortened season is a pretty worthwhile gamble.