Programming note: Joel Farabee will be joining Anthony and Russ on Snow The Goalie Radio this evening on 610 ESPN Radio.
It’s been exactly two weeks since Joel Farabee made his debut for the Orange & Black ahead of what turned out to be a 6-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The team was 2-3-1 at the time of the call-up and the 19-year-old winger was on a three-game goalscoring streak to go with an assist, good for four points in his first four games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. While it would’ve been understandable for Farabee to sulk after failing to make the opening night roster, he did exactly the opposite, putting up the second-most points on the team to start the AHL season while also leading all AHL rookies in goals. The fear of many at that time was that the Flyers were grasping at straws, hoping that a streaking young player would somehow turn around the team’s fortunes.
That fear was quickly cast aside as Farabee immediately impressed his head coach and teammates with his relentless energy. Following that win over Vegas, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said of the winger:
I thought Joel, you can tell that he is a smart player. Everybody is talking about his puck skills and what he can do offensively, but defensively he seems like he is a very smart player. I thought that line tonight with Haysy and Scott played extremely well at both ends of the ice and got some good looks and Haysy was able to find the back of the night. It was a good night for him, I think he can build off of. He played that full 200-foot game that I know he can play.
It’s been more of the same game after game. In his first three games with the Flyers -all wins- he amassed eleven shots while averaging around fourteen minutes per game, including his first NHL assist in the team’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. That was a significant accomplishment as he had both a goal and an assist take off the board earlier in the game.
Following two ugly losses against the Islanders and Penguins, Farabee rebounded with another strong effort against the Devils, featuring – you guessed it – another goal waved off by the officials. Once again, he persevered scoring his first NHL goal, for real this time, to tie the game with eight and a half minutes remaining in regulation:
Joel Farabee scores his FIRST NHL GOAL! pic.twitter.com/FTDo9gqMj4
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 2, 2019
Adversity doesn’t keep this kid down. He’s seen his time on ice increase nearly every game, including a career-high 17:33 in Saturday night’s 3-4 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs. Has he been an elite winger, one that transcends the level of play of his peers? Not exactly. For any of you +/- elitists out there, he’s still a -2 on the season, but dive into the numbers and you’ll learn far more about his play.
His IPP% (Individual Point Percentage) of 66.67 – which is the percentage of goals for his team while he’s on the ice and he earns a point on – is good for 10th on the team at even strength. He’s sixth on the team in ixG (Individual Expected Goals) at 0.65 in 19:28 of power play time to go with two individual high danger chances for, which is third-best on the team. Has he found the back of the net at an elite pace? No, but he’s getting there. It’s no coincidence he earned a shot on the team’s top line with captain Claude Giroux, with whom Farabee played 15:42 of all-situation hockey.
One thing’s for sure: if Farabee continues to create high danger chances and bring the consistent energy he has thus far, the points will come and the kid’s confidence will soar.
For more Flyers coverage, check out Snow The Goalie Radio Mondays from 5-6PM on 610 ESPN Philadelphia and subscribe to Snow The Goalie: A Flyers Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and wherever else you get your podcasts. Also be sure to tune into The Press Row Show as Anthony and Russ live stream during pregame and the first and second intermission breaks of every Flyers home game live from press row of the Wells Fargo Center via the Crossing Broad Facebook page and Twitter.