Very few things taking place on a sheet of ice can accurately be called “relaxing,” but what will transpire beginning Thursday morning at Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, comes close.
This is Day 1 of the Flyers' annual development camp for 34 prospects.
Camp will run five days, concluding next Monday with a pair of 3-on-3 tournament games staged on a half sheet of ice.
No one wins a roster spot here. That comes in September when the team’s main training camp opens. The purpose of this camp is getting the basics down of what it means to be part of the Flyers' organization.
The focus is on drills, learning new skills, nutrition, workout regimens and developing friendships with other players in the organization.
This is a teaching tool, not an evaluation. That comes later.
Three players won’t be in camp.
Defensive prospect Philippe Myers recently underwent hip surgery and has been excused. So has the Flyers' top pick in last month’s NHL draft — defenseman German Rubstov, who is back in Russia. He is contractually obligated to the KHL and can’t participate. Forward Mikhail Vorobyov (2015, fourth round) will also miss the camp because of a KHL conflict.
The camp will again be overseen by Flyers development coaches John Riley and Kjell Samuelsson.
Goalies hit the ice Thursday at 8:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., the forwards start coming on. Groups are broken up into prospects and Flyers/Phantoms.
Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz won’t be here but for different reasons. He’s already been through four previous camps and is projected to be on the Flyers in 2017-18.
Even so, there will be six goaltenders working out, including the only one the Flyers selected in this year’s draft, Carter Hart (second round) of the Everett Silvertips in the WHL. Hart was actually the first goaltender selected in the draft a few weeks ago.
Both Brady Robinson, the developmental goalie coach, and Flyers goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh, will be on the ice. Robinson pushed hard for Hart’s selection.
“This wasn’t a real deep draft in terms of goalies,” director of scouting Chris Pryor said. “But we think Carter would be a good candidate to get selected pretty high in any draft.
“He has a lot of good tools and he’s got a good body of work so far. [Ron Hextall] and Brady both really like his skill set but also the attention he pays to detail.”
Nine of the Flyers’ 10 draft picks from June are here. That draft was heavy on forwards — seven — which is exactly what the Flyers lacked in terms of organizational depth.
This camp will offer the club’s first look at four prospects who were not present at this year’s draft — forwards Tanner Laczynski and Anthony Salinitri, both taken in the sixth round, plus defensemen Linus Hogberg (fifth round) and David Bernhardt (seventh round).
The camp will also see former Flyers blueliner Kerry Huffman, who was hired as an assistant coach for the Phantoms, working with the defense.
Two prospects projected to challenge for a Flyers roster spot this fall are defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny. Both will attend camp.
Next Tuesday, all prospects report to Stone Harbor to compete in trainer Jim McCrossin’s “Trial on the Isle,” before heading for their summer homes.