VOORHEES, N.J. - A nice crowd turned out at Flyers Skate Zone on Saturday morning to watch the team's prospects open rookie camp.
There's no shortage of talent in this year's group as the camp features seven roster candidates for the 2019-20 season.
Let's get into five observations:
1. Orange you happy?
A trio in orange had everyone's attention.
With the forwards wearing different colored jerseys to make up lines, Isaac Ratcliffe, Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee were put together. To no surprise, they stood out.
Last season, the 6-foot-6 Ratcliffe scored 50 goals with the OHL's Guelph Storm, the playmaking Frost amassed 109 points with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the do-it-all Farabee won national Rookie of the Year with Boston University.
All three are turning pro this season. And if all three start the year with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms will be a hot ticket for Flyers fans. In fact, fans will get a chance to see them Wednesday night at PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the rookie game against the Islanders.
I would have to say I don't know if we've had any forwards come in that have been at the level that some of the kids that we're getting this year.
- Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon
2. The big easy
Ratcliffe is big, but his skilled hands and soft touch for a player his size are what make him impressive. He can get up ice and make plays away from the net. Around the net, though, there's a lot to like when you combine the ability with his frame.
After practice, Ratcliffe worked on deflecting shots. He scored 91 goals in 132 regular-season games over his final two years of junior hockey.
You'd have to believe he has some power play in his future, very possibly this season with the Phantoms.
Isaac Ratcliffe, not too shabby at the net. pic.twitter.com/4n34cfiVg7
3. A maturing Myers
Philippe Myers looks like a full-time NHL player. The 22-year-old defenseman moves extremely well for his 6-foot-5 size, has a great stick and he's gained a ton of strength. During the 2018 training camp, he was listed at 202 pounds. Now, he's 218 pounds and it's noticeable.
His comfort level, you can tell this is nothing for him. He just goes out there and it's effortless and he's so sure of himself and confident. I thought he looked good.
General manager Chuck Fletcher promoted Myers in February as the Flyers were gaining relevancy in the playoff race. Myers ended up playing 21 meaningful games.
"It made me want to work that much harder this summer," he said. "I just want to be up here this year, I want to be a part of the team, I want to help the team win. I'm going to work hard at camp and I'm going to earn it.
"They told me that I should be chomping at the bit for this training camp. I want that, too, I want to be a top-four guy, have a bigger role on the team and help the team win. They basically told me that's what my goal should be and that's my goal."
4. Different mix
A group that skated hard and showed chemistry was Mikhail Vorobyev, Maksim Sushko and Egor Serdyuk.
Vorobyev is offensively talented and trying to work his way back to the Flyers, while the Lehigh Valley-bound Sushko brings nice speed and Serdyuk was a sixth-round pick this summer.
Serdyuk was not at development camp, so this is our first live look at the Victoriaville Tigres product.
Mikhail Vorobyev, Maksim Sushko and Egor Serdyuk. pic.twitter.com/U6sHwJB7UM
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) September 7, 2019
5. Friedman update
Mark Friedman will not take part in rookie camp or the prospects game as he rests up from minor abdominal surgery.
The Flyers expect him ready for main training camp, which begins Sept. 13.
Friedman is a 23-year-old defenseman who made his NHL debut during Game 82 last season. He'll be entering his third season with the Phantoms.
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