Left winger Michael Raffl, who has also played center in his NHL career and is a versatile two-way player, was relieved to sign a three year deal this past Sunday.
After signing the extension, Raffl expressed relief and optimism.
“The next three years should be the best three years of my career,” he said.
After a win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, Raffl admitted apprehension about his future.
“I’ve had easier times walking across the locker room, I didn’t know if it was the last time putting on the Flyers jersey,” Raffl said.
Though not a breakout star, Raffl has been just short of spectacular. Last season he had a career-high 21 goals, playing mostly on the top line.
He got off to a slow start this year, though, which he attributed to being in a contract year.
“I knew it was a contract year for me, so I was kind of getting rattled in the beginning, not scoring,” the 6-foot, 195-pound Austrian said. “You hold your stick a little too tight.”
This is understandable coming from someone who is expected to perform greatly on a nightly basis. The fact of being in a contract year only exasperates matters, makes them more tenuous.
His new contract is nothing to bat an eye at, three years, $7.05 million. The figures were released through a person with direct knowledge of the deal who spoke with anonymity because the Flyers themselves did not release the figures.
Overall, the Austrian-born player has 67 points in 196 career games. He is relatively new but has scored enough to become a contributing member of the team. This season he has 17 points in 61 games. He is one of three players to have appeared in all 61 games.
He owns a plus-minus rating of plus 13 and seven of his 38 goals have been game winners.
There is no doubt Raffl will make his mark in this league and he has three more guaranteed years to do it with the Flyers.