Ostensibly, the rebuild is still on in Philadelphia. Now, I could quibble about what a…
If there was one single great thing to take away from the Flyers in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that Carter Hart is the future. There’s no question about it.
I mean, we already knew this kid was a stud with endless potential at the young age of 22, but he just solidified it even more so in these playoffs, taking the mantle as one of the next great ones in net.
The Beginning (Everett)
The Flyers selected Carter Hart from the Everett Silvertips with the 48th pick in the 2016 Entry Draft and he’s improved rapidly ever since. Here is his junior numbers from Draft Year until his last stint.
2015-16 (Draft): 63GP, 2.14 GAA, .918 SV%, 6 SO, 17 Y/O
2016-17: 54GP, 1.99 GAA, .927 SV%, 9 SO, 18 Y/O
2017-18: 41GP, 1.60 GAA, .947 SV%, 7 SO, 19 Y/O
Those 2017-18 statistics at 19 years old are just eye-popping. We all remember during those Hakstol years seeing the Everett Silvertips account tweet about how he broke another record, or posted another shutout. It filled the fanbase with hope as we dreamed one day he would be the next great one.
BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK WHL GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR:
Our own Carter Hart.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) May 2, 2018
Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Hart started the 2018-19 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the age of 20 and was set to take another step forward. Out of the gate he struggled, which is kind of normal for a 20 year old net-minder getting his first taste of professional hockey. The rough start skews his statistics a little bit but they were:
2018-19 (AHL): 18GP, 3.05 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO, 20 Y/O
Towards the end of his AHL stint he was starting to roll, leaving all of Flyers nation in anger as we had to watch a NHL record EIGHT goalies start for us throughout the year. Around November/December of 2019, the Flyers ownership themselves were sick of this and got rid of the Hextall-Hakstol regime. Chuck Fletcher then came into the picture and what do you know, hello Carter Hart.
— LehighValleyPhantoms (@LVPhantoms) December 15, 2018
Fun fact: Since entering the NHL, Carter Hart hasn’t had numbers as low as his AHL statistics. He’s just kept improving, when Chuck Fletcher gave him a chance to play in the show he took it and ran with it. These were Hart’s numbers after his call-up:
2018-19 (NHL): 31GP, 3.01 GAA, .917 SV%, 8-game winning streak. 16-13-1
At 20 years old he came into a mediocre hockey club and proved he belonged in the NHL. A spark of hope for an organization that seemed to be reeling at the time.
The crowd goes wild after Carter Hart makes a 5-on-3 save! pic.twitter.com/lzA01iOtHx
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 21, 2018
2019-20 Home/Away Splits
If you’ve watched a lot of Carter Hart this year there was a constant theme. Lights out at home, but not so great on the road. Some would say it’s because the team in front of him played worse on the road, but regardless it was still a constant theme. Here are his 2019-20 Home/Road split statistics:
Home: 25GP, 20-3-2, 1.63 GAA, .943 SV%, 1 S/O
Road: 18GP, 4-10-1, 3.81 GAA, .857 SV%.
The difference is astronomical, those home numbers are beyond Vezina worthy but the road struggles need work. Brian Elliott was a big help this year on the road, being that calming presence. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves just how young Carter Hart is and how much better he can get. When you look at those home numbers, and you look at the big picture, it’s an exciting time for Flyers fans.
— #StanleyCup Final on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 8, 2020
This is where he proved it to me. If it wasn’t for Carter Hart the Flyers most likely get bounced by Montreal in round one. Hart was absolutely dynamite in these playoffs, he out-dueled Carey Price and was our best player by far. There were games he faced upwards of 50+ shots and he still gave the club chances to win the game.
Underrated save from Carter Hart right after Flyers went up 1-0
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 26, 2020
2019-20 (Playoffs): 14GP, 9-5-0, 2.23 GAA, .926 SV%, 2 S/O.
Carter Hart… that is all. pic.twitter.com/eNycBiWARy
— TLY (@TheLibertyYell) August 17, 2019
Mandatory Credit: ELSA/GETTY and the Philadelphia Flyers.