Flyers Training Camp Takeaways: Day 1
Not only does today open up Day 1 of Training camp for the Philadelphia Flyers, it opens up a new era of Flyers hockey. Out go, Jake Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere, Nolan Patrick, Phil Myers and Robert Hagg. In come, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, Derick Brassard & Keith Yandle.
Chuck Fletcher made it very clear after the season that what happened last year was unacceptable. We’ve heard the quote, “The front office has done their job, now it’s time to go do ours.” from players and coaches headed into camp. I just can’t help but to notice that the entire team seems to be on the same page. Whatever message Chuck, AV and the front office wanted to send to their players and fan-base, consider it sent. No more excuses now, AV has the team he wanted and thinks should be better than last years debacle.
There’s no denying the Flyers look different, now it’s up to AV and the boys to prove they are.
- Samu Tuomaala RW
- Maksim Sushko RW
- Elliot Desnoyers LW
- Connor McClennon RW
- Matthew Strome LW
- Jon-Randall Avon C
- Ethan Samson
- Quinn Schmiemann
- Kirill Ustimenko
Group C was the first group out today around 8:30am. Doors for the public didn’t open until 9:30am, so no fans got to see this group skate. Realistically, this group has no chance of making the NHL team, they’re just more there for the experience. Jon-Randall Avon was an invite to rookie camp, that earned himself an ELC contract. A smaller, speedy center who proved himself and earned a contract, good for him.
I’d say Maksim Sushko is the only surprise on this list. Sushko did have a season-ending injury last year, so maybe he’s not 100%.
Desnoyers just led the Halifax Mooseheads in points in his first year with the team, he’s someone I’m really lookin forward to watching how his D+2 season goes. He had hip surgery over the summer, but should be ready to go soon.
- Travis Konecny RW
- Sean Couturier C
- Derick Brassard C
- Gerry Mayhew C
- Oskar Lindblom LW
- Claude Giroux C
- Cal O’Reilly C
- Ryan Fitzgerald C
- Tyson Foerster RW
- Tanner Laczynski C
- Isaac Ratcliffe LW
- Cam Atkinson RW
- Keith Yandle
- Ivan Provorov
- Nick Seeler
- Egor Zamula
- Justin Braun
- Brian Zanetti
- Linus Hogberg
- Ryan Ellis
- Samuel Ersson
- Carter Hart
I can’t sit here and put into words how amazing it was to walk into the rink and smell the fresh ice and hear the sound of the skates cutting into the ice as a player makes a quick cut. It’s been a long time since fans have been allowed in the Skate Zone, so I’m sure along with the fans, the players are pretty excited to see some orange back in the stands.
Group A’s lines
Giroux – Couturier – Konecny
Lindblom – Brassard – Atkinson
Ratcliffe – Laczynski – Foerster
Fitzgerald – O’Reilly – Mayhew
Provorov – Ellis
Yandle – Braun
Zamula – Seeler
Hogberg – Zanetti
Group A started off by doing some 5 man defensive zone breakout drills, something the Flyers really struggled with last year. With added additions of Ryan Ellis and Keith Yandle, two of the NHL’s best passing defenseman, the Flyers should be a lot better in that regard.
Carter Hart had the place jumping at 10am with a beautiful glove save off a rebound during a rush drill.
Hart made of numbers of big saves today that had Keith Yandle giving him a tap on the pad and fans that have been craving anything Flyers hockey to cheer about. Speaking of Keith Yandle, he looked really good out there along with Egor Zamula, who stood out to me today during 1-on-1 drills.
At one point during the 1-on-1 drills, I don’t think Zamula let up a single scoring chance, maybe a quick little wrist shot from the slot but for the most part, he shut things down. Zamula shut down Konecny the first two times the pair went against each other, really using his size to his advantage.
During a drill in which the entire point is to create a rebound to test your goalie to make an incredible save, Carter Hart did just that. For the second time in the practice, Carter Hart had the team and fans screaming.
What a diving save!
Towards the end of the session, the Flyers started running 3 on 3 drills, then full 5 on 5 drills in one half of the rink. The Lindblom – Brassard – Atkinson line really impressed me, Lindblom seems to have put on a little weight since the last time we’ve seen him. He’s faster, stronger and making himself a lot more available for line-mates while in the defensive zone. In one play, Oskar finds the puck come loose down-low and makes a beautiful saucer pass over to Yandle, who unfortunately couldn’t handle it.
Still, a sweet pass from #23.
Lindblom isn’t the only one who was impressive on the line, while Cam Atkinson wasn’t “bad” today, he didn’t really stand out more than Derick Brassard did. AV has decided to place Brassard as the 3C between Lindblom and Atkinson and I love it. Brassard has played some of his best hockey there, according to AV, and if today’s practice is any indication of what’s to come, he’s good to go! Here Brassard makes a really nice move off the wall and tries to bank-hand it into the slot for a dangerous chance, but the puck goes to the corner.
Brassard wasted no time in making up for that pass that found nobody by completing a beautiful play that was all started by Keith Yandle and Oskar Lindblom. Yandle comes dow along the wall and finds Lindblom who is making himself available in-front of the net. Oskar then makes a nice turn-around pass that finds Brassard right below the goal-line.
Beautiful play from everyone involved.
For the very first session back on the ice, the boys looked good. Nobody looked out of place, everyone did their job and looked like they were having fun doing it. I saw Ellis, Giroux, Couturier have a 3-4 minutes discussion in-between drills. Seemed like they were going over defensive zone coverages and looked like the main guy talking and pointing was Ryan Ellis. After the discussion ended, the puck was dropped and Ellis made an interception and cleared the zone. All while defensive coach Mike Yeo, was yelling and tapping his stick on the ice in approval.
You love to see them take the time to get it right.
- Scott Laughton C
- James van Riemsdyk LW
- Linus Sandin RW
- Morgan Frost C
- Nate Thompson C
- Garret Wilson LW
- German Rubstov C
- Jackson Cates C
- Nicolas Aube-Kubel RW
- Max Willman C
- Connor Bunnaman
- Joel Farabee RW
- Adam Clendening
- Travis Sanheim
- Cam York
- Logan Day
- Mason Millman
- Wyatte Wylie
- Rasmus Ristolainen
- Jackson van de Leest
- Felix Sandstrom
- Martin Jones
Group B came onto the ice around 1pm, Nicolas Aube-Kubel was one of the first players on the ice. Aube-Kubel is a player AV has mentioned in his media availability as a player that he needs to see more from.
Group B’s lines
van Riemsdyk – Frost – Farabee
Laughton – Thompson – Aube-Kubel
Bunnaman – Rubstov – Sandin
Willman – Cates – Wilson
Sanheim – Ristolainen
York – Clendening
Millman – Wylie
Day – van de Leest
Scott Laughton and Nate Thompson both grabbed my attention right off the jump during line rush drills. Pretty sure Laughton had 2-3 snipes during the first handful one different line rush drills.
Here during a 2 on 2 vs Joel Farabee and Rasmus Ristolainen, Thompson finds Laughton down-low and Scotty turns and snipes one past Sandstrom.
Speaking of line rush drills, Morgan Frost had one with Connor Bunnaman (they just happen to be paired together during drills) and Frost (orange near goalie), after the initial save and rebound, found Bunnaman with a beautiful spin pass to the slot. Frost has been put next to JVR and Farabee as the 2C in camp, he wasted zero time showing off his playmaking capabilities.
Linus Sandin is a player from development and rookie camp who really stood out for me. Today he continued to look impressive with his very quick and heavy wrist shot. I knew Sandin had a decent shot but when I tell you this thing zips, it ZIPS. Sandin really started to turn on the goal scoring towards the end of the Phantoms season last year. He’s not the fastest or strongest player, but he puts himself in the right positions constantly and has the shot to go with it. If Sandin doesn’t make a strong push for the 4RW spot, he’ll be a top six forward with the Phantoms playing on PP1.
Frost didn’t want to end the day without adding in another fancy pass. This time he finds Joel Farabee during a half ice, 2 on 2 drill. Frost has two players on him and still somehow finds Farabee completely alone with the goalie.
I seriously think Farabee thought there was zero chance Frost would get this to him.
Frost ended the last drills by finding JVR in the slot from behind the net with a soft little saucer pass. JVR got denied but this line, for it being their first day of camp together, was very fun to watch.
- Need more of Nate Thompson + Scott Laughton.
- Derick Brassard was impressive in Day 1, looking forward to how he fairs in the next couple days
- Egor Zamula was impressive, thought he used his frame and active stick extremely well. Skates so well for a big guy.
- Brian Zanetti’s along with Mason Millman’s, skating really pops out at you. Zanetti obviously needs to put on weight and learn how to use his frame better, but he impressed me today. Millman can absolutely fly and has an underrated shot. He got a taste of the AHL last year, excited to watch Mason’s development this year.
- Ryan Ellis is going to be a staple on the blue-line. JVR compared him to Niskanen in his presser today comparing the way they both bring that calming presence back there.
- Cam York had a quiet day, which you can say is actually good for a defenseman.
Onto Day 2!
Mandatory Credit: Zack Hill/Flyers PR