Which Hart will the Flyers be getting over the next three seasons? That’s the all-important question here. The soon-to-be 23-year-old netminder, who was a restricted free agent, has had an up-and-down start to his NHL career.
After getting his feet wet with 27 appearances in 2018-19, Hart took a big step forward in 2019-20 helping the Flyers win 24 games and posting a .921 even strength save percentage and 3.5 goals saved above average, per Evolving Hockey. The expectations entering last season were high, but it all came crashing down for the young netminder. In 27 games in 2020-21, he recorded an .892 ESSV% and a -14.21 GSAA.
That GSAA was worst among all NHL goaltenders with at least 750 minutes of ice time.
“He’s still a very young player playing a real tough position,” said Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault in May. “With the right mindset, the right attitude, the right work ethic moving forward, he’s got all the capabilities to become a real solid goaltender. Now he’s got to go out and prove it.”
During his end-of-season media availability, Hart said the condensed 2020-21 schedule and a lack of practice time hurt his game. His season to forget wound up coming to an end on April 15 after spraining his MCL in his left knee.
Now healthy, it’s a big season coming up for Hart who wants to prove that last season was just an aberration.
“I think going forward, this is only going to help me with my career going into next season,” Hart said in May. “Have a great summer of training, and I’ll be ready for next year. I’m looking forward to having a clean slate next year. I think we all are, and we’re all going to be better next year. I know it.”