After that, it gets a little tricky and it probably won't be decided until the end of training camp. Mikhail Vorobyev, Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal — three players competing for the third-line center spot — have played extremely well in the preseason.
"Guys are pushing each other," coach Dave Hakstol said.
Here is a look at the Flyers' top centers and where they stand:
Sean Couturier (6-foot-3, 211 pounds): Couturier has been skating and is getting close to being able to have contact as he recovers from a knee injury. Look for him to play in at least two of the Flyers' remaining preseason games. He is coming off a career season that included 31 goals and 76 points. If Travis Konecny is on his line, as expected, look for Couturier to score fewer goals and collect more assists than last season.
Nolan Patrick (6-2, 198): Compared to last year's camp — when he was coming off abdominal surgery — Patrick has had another gear and appears to be headed toward a big season. He started to blossom in the second half of last season, and he looks much more confident this year. With high-scoring left winger James van Riemsdyk on Patrick's line, it wouldn't be surprising if Patrick doubled last year's total of 30 points.
Jordan Weal (5-10, 179): After scoring eight goals in his final 19 games two seasons ago, Weal was a major disappointment last year (eight goals) and spent most of his time at wing. He has the speed and vision to play center, his natural position, and has looked impressive in camp. If he doesn't win the third center spot, he could slide back to wing.
Mikhail Vorobyev (6-2, 194): Surprise, surprise. The 21-year-old Russian has two goals over three exhibition games and has shown skill as a distributor and defender. He has been arguably the most pleasant surprise in camp. His lone weakness has been in the faceoff circle. That said, if Vorobyev continues his strong play, it will be difficult for the Flyers to send him back to the Phantoms.
Scott Laughton (6-1, 190): Laughton, who scored 10 goals last year, helped his stock with a three-assist performance in a 6-4 preseason win Wednesday over the Rangers. Known more for his defensive work, Laughton needs to improve his finishing touch to secure the No. 3 spot. He is versatile and also can play wing.
Jori Lehtera (6-2, 212): Lehtera, who managed just three goals last season, scored in Wednesday's win over the Rangers and has a shot to be the fourth-line center. His size and experience are attributes, but his speed is a liability. There's a chance he gets sent to the Phantoms.