The Philadelphia Flyers are perhaps the most surprising team in the NHL this season. After a 75-point season that saw Philly finish with the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers are on pace for 97 points this season and currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Teams in this spot would typically go for it and add pieces to the roster to ensure a playoff berth, and a potential playoff run, is in the cards come late April. The Flyers are in a unique position though, as the franchise’s top front-office executives have made it clear on several occasions throughout the season that Philly is still keyed in on a rebuild that will keep them competitive and in the hunt for championships for a long time.

From everything general manager Danny Briere and head coach John Tortorella have said, the Flyers will listen to all offers for almost every player in the organization. Philly wants more assets, particularly draft picks, to help speed up the rebuilding process. The Flyers will be smart in the way they do business though, and will likely want to make moves that benefit them in the future without draining their momentum of this season.

There won’t be a firesale of players leaving Philly, but the Flyers have several players who they can ship out in exchange for valuable picks and prospects. If these trades play out, the Flyers and their fans will be on cloud nine heading into the stretch run of the season.

The obvious move to make

The consensus around the NHL rumor mill is that the most likely player the Flyers will trade is defenseman Sean Walker. The 29-year-old is on an expiring contract and doesn’t have a history in Philly having been acquired last summer via trade. His improved play this season makes him a prime trade candidate again and there are already teams inquiring about him.

Walker is arguably having the best season of his NHL career, as he's played in all 54 games and is on pace to set career highs in goals, assists and points. He has five goals and 14 assists with a +8 rating, playing nearly 20 minutes per game.

The Flyers recently acquired defenseman Jamie Drysdale, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft, in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks. Though there is still more development for him, the Flyers are intent on turning him into a franchise cornerstone. With Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen under long-term contracts and Philly potentially extending Cam York, there might not be room for Walker to sign an extension.

He could be a solid rental for a contending team or a team in the hunt who needs some help on the blue line.  The Flyers will ask for a first-round pick, though it's been reported that they'll take a high-level prospect as well. Either would be a great return for Philly and could set them up with four first-round picks over the next two drafts.

A tough decision on long-time Flyer

Behind Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton is the longest-active Flyers player having made his debut in 2013. More than 11 years and 573 games later, the Flyers are listening to offers on the veteran center.

Philly reportedly wants a first-round pick for Laughton and doesn’t have to budge because they don’t necessarily need to move him. If the Flyers are wowed by an offer they can’t refuse then they'll say yes to a deal, but Laughton is a respected player in the locker room and a “glue guy” according to John Tortorella.

Unlike Sean Walker, Laughton has a very manageable two years remaining on his contract after this season. At $3 million a year, he is the exact sort of player the Flyers are looking for to bridge their way from mediocrity to continued success. Laughton's minutes are down this season but he has yet to miss a game and has stepped up as a voice as Philly remains without a captain.

This would only be a “dream” move if the Flyers get a high-end pick or two. It might sting the locker room a bit if Scott Laughton is traded, but it would be a smart business decision for Philly if a team gets desperate and coughs up a first-round pick.

What about Travis Konecny?

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Travis Konecny (11) against the Ottawa Senators
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In his eighth NHL season, Travis Konecny has emerged as the Flyers' best player and one of the top goalscorers in the league. He is one of 20 players with at least 25 goals and is on pace for career-best marks in goals and points.

Konecny turns 27 in March and is in line for a massive contract that the Flyers are keen on getting done. Philly could net a lot for him if they shopped him around, but Konecny is a fan favorite and seems to enjoy playing for the Flyers. Moving him amid his best season and Philly's best season since 2020 would put a dent in the solid relationship Briere and the new front office have forged with the fans in its short time in charge.

The Flyers aren’t in a rush to get an extension done, but conversations have reportedly already started. Konecny has one year left on his current deal and is owed $5.5 million next season. He could net upward of $70 million in his new deal. The Flyers will more than likely be the team that gives it to him.

Rest of season outlook

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning in just over nine weeks, the Flyers are in a good position to make the postseason for the first time in four years regardless of what they do at the deadline. Philly has 28 games remaining and sits six points clear in the race for the Eastern Conference playoffs entering Wednesday's action.

The March 8 trade deadline is approaching and soon the hockey hot stove will be heating up. The Flyers have the potential to come out as big winners at the deadline while also continuing to remain in the hunt for the playoffs.

Netting a couple of high-level prospects and draft picks would be seen as a successful deadline for the Flyers. Danny Briere might have some tough decisions to make, but Philly is primed to take its rebuild to the next level with this season's trade deadline as the next step toward making that a reality.