31-Year-Old Right Wing – Philadelphia Flyers
Matt Read Contract Information:
Signed four-year, $14.5 million extension with the Flyers in September 2013.
Read, who's coming off a season-ending upper-body injury, is at risk of losing his roster spot with the Flyers, the Courier-Post reports.
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Matt Read: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
At 30 years old with two straight seasons of declining scoring behind him, Read doesn’t look like an appealing fantasy add this year. Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek are locked into the top two lines at right wing, leaving the 30-year-old Read with third-line duty and second-unit power-play time (as well as plenty of penalty-killing minutes). He’s carved out a legitimate NHL career after going undrafted, but that won’t help most fantasy owners.
Read had a season to forget in 2014-15, scoring just eight goals in 80 games -- the lowest goal total of his four-season NHL career. The sharp-shooter is usually a lock for 20 goals, but he struggled with consistency issues and a drop in ice time last year. While the 29-year-old still reached 30 points, he appeared unmotivated at times and went through several lengthy slumps. Read is too good not to rebound to some degree, though reaching the 20-goal mark can no longer be taken as a guarantee. Any potential bounce back for Read may hinge on how he clicks with Sam Gagner, an underachieving, yet highly-skilled forward the Flyers brought in during the offseason to join Read and Sean Couturier on the third line.
Read has been a model of consistency in his three years on the Flyers, averaging just over a half-a-point per game with a roughly equal amount of goals and assists. While he's been a fixture on the third line alongside Sean Couturier for the past couple of season, he may look for exposure in the top-six on either of the spots left vacant with Scott Hartnell and Tye McGinn's departures. If that happens, you can expect a career year out of this 28 year old; if he remains on the third line, he's still a solid contributor for deep leagues.
Read racked up 24 points in 42 games with the Flyers last season. It wasn't as impressive as his breakout rookie season, but Read still posted solid numbers. If the 27-year-old can return to form this season, he could provide solid value as a late-round pickup.
In his rookie year Matt Read posted an impressive 47 points in 79 games, with his 24 goals leading all NHL rookies. Many felt he was overlooked in consideration for the Calder Trophy, but Read will look to build on an impressive start and has earned his ice-time with the Flyers. Now that his rookie season is out of the way, Read may be on the verge of a breakout year that could produce serious value for fantasy owners. He's not as young as most rookies, as he turned 26 this past June, so his ceiling isn't as high as other talented rookies. Still, he's well worth a look in deeper leagues as he could challenge 30 goals.