The Flyers announced on Monday that they re-signed goaltender Carter Hart to a three-year contract extension that carries an average annual value (AAV) of $3.979 million.
The 22-year-old was a restricted free agent this summer after his rookie deal expired following the 2021 season, which was a disappointing one for the promising netminder that potentially had Vezina Trophy aspirations following a strong postseason debut in the Toronto bubble last year that saw the Flyers nab the top seed in the East and advance to the conference semifinals before falling to the New York Islanders in seven games.
Before COVID shut the regular season down in March last year, Hart posted a 24-13-3 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.42 goals-against average. He got even better in the playoffs with a .926 SV% and 2.23 GAA to go with two shutouts.
Hart experienced a sizable regression behind a Flyers defense that was in need of a revamp this offseason. He went 9-11-5 with a .877 SV% and a 3.67 GAA in 2021 as Philadelphia didn’t come all that close to even flirting with the playoffs in the temporary Eastern Division that featured those same Islanders along with the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals.
“You kind of go home and you’re just in your own thoughts the whole time because you’re just sitting in your apartment alone,” Hart said back in May. “Things were a lot better at the end, I was feeling a lot happier and hanging out with the boys more, and I think that that was kind of a big part of my play toward the end was just enjoying the game more and being more grateful for where I am.
“I mean, I’m in the NHL, I’m in the best league in the world. So instead of dwelling on other things, shifting my focus toward being more grateful.”
Hart is still very much the future for the Flyers in the crease, but initial expectations are that he’ll share time in net next season with veteran Martin Jones, who Philadelphia brought in on a one-year, $2 million contract this summer.