Joel Farabee was looking forward to hearing his named called on Friday night at the NHL Draft no matter what, but being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 14th overall pick was a dream come true.
The strong two-way winger was a great selection for the Flyers, and it was one that fit into Farabee’s plans as well. Farabee is from Syracuse, and played for the U.S. National Development Team, but he’s a Philly kid at heart.
“Actually, I’m not gonna lie, when I came into the draft I wanted to go 14 to Philly, so I think it’s pretty cool for that to happen and I’m really excited,” Farabee said after being selected. “As the draft process started I really wanted to go to Philly, and that kinda paid off for me.”
The Flyers did their due diligence on Farabee as they talked to him a few times prior to the draft, which helped the winger as well. “I really liked their interviews,” he said, “I talked to them a couple times.”
But it wasn’t just the interviews and roster that Farabee may have liked. The American forward is a Philly kid and was selected by the team he grew up watching.
“My dad’s actually from Philly, so I grew up watching the Flyers and I’m a really big Phillies fan so I think it’s really cool to be part of a great city.”
Farabee showed his support for Philadelphia sports earlier this year, tweeting out “Game day #FlyEaglesFly” on February 4th, which of course was when the Eagles beat the Patriots to win Super Bowl 52.
Game Day!! #FlyEaglesFly
Farabee is an interesting prospect in that not only does he project to be a solid middle-six forward as his floor, he could become a top-line scoring winger if everything pans out. He can put the puck in the net, but his two-way game is what he prides himself on.
“I definitely like scoring goals, but definitely hate getting scored against,” he said. “So that’s kind of my motto.”
The term “two-way forward” or “200-foot player” gets thrown around a bit too often in order to mask a player’s inefficiencies on offense, but Farabee is a true two-way forward. He is responsible in his own end, even though he knows he needs to put some weight on, and can produce offensively too.
Ron Hextall summed up Farabee pretty nicely in a short quote.
Yeah, he’s a real attention to detail player, he competes hard, he’s got speed, he’s got skill. He can score, he’s a good player. He’s also got size in his family, so I still think there’s a chance he can grow but he’s certainly going to put a lot of beef on.
Over recent years we’ve been fortunate enough to watch a few two-way forwards flourish in Philadelphia, and Farabee could be another one.
Just last year we saw the “shutdown center” Sean Couturier turn into a true two-way force with his offensive outputs, and we’ve been able to watch Claude Giroux continue to be an elite player in the league over the course of his career. Farabee has been watching too.
When asked what NHL player Farabee admired and grew up watching, he had nothing but praise for the Captain.
“I watch a lot of Claude Giroux… He’s a really good two-way player, he’s really smart, and I really like watching him.”
Farabee has the talent and hockey sense already, but he knows that he’ll need a bit of time to develop. He praised the USNTDP for their impacts, and knows he’ll need to continue growing at Boston University. He said that the thing he needs to work on the most is putting on weight, and he sees an ideal timeline of one to two years at BU before turning pro.
Farabee was the captain of the U.S. National U18 Team, which shows his leadership abilities and character. He’s a “safe” pick in the sense that he’s a character guy with good hockey sense, but don’t mistake that for being a boring pick. Farabee put up 76 points in 62 games, he has great vision and he’s great with the puck on his stick.
The Flyers have been known for their deep prospect pool in the past few years, but they have been lacking a top-tier winger. They have plenty of depth and top guys on defense, they’ve restocked at center recently with Nolan Patrick, Morgan Frost, and German Rubtsov, but they had yet to draft a winger in the first round until Farabee. He rounds out the Flyers’ prospect pool a bit, joining Wade Allison, Isaac Ratcliffe, Matt Strome, and other wingers in the system.
Farabee seemed to be the guy that the Flyers were targeting, and it’s a perfect fit. Not only are the Flyers happy with the pick, but Farabee is as well. There were a few players that nearly fell to the Flyers at 14th overall that they likely would’ve snatched up, but Farabee was their guy.
Farabee was ranked as highly as 5th overall by The Draft Analyst (Sporting News) and was between 11 and 15 on five other prospect rankings
You can see some of his skills in this short videos from the U.S. National Team.
— USA Hockey NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) June 23, 2018
Or if you prefer, a longer highlight package showcasing his full skillset.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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