Quick Hits: Rookie Camp, Vorobyev, O'Brien, TIFH and More
Quick Hits: September 7, 2019
1) With the exceptions of new dad Claude Giroux (who will arrive next week) and unsigned restricted free agents Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny, all Flyers players are now working out in Voorhees ahead of the Sept. 13 start of training camp. While Rookie Camp was going on over on the old Phantoms rink at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, Flyers players worked out and did V02 testing on the primary rink.
2) The first on-ice day at the Flyers 2019 Development Camp is complete. The players will be back on the ice on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. EDT. On Day 1, Lehigh Valley Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon ran the players through end-to-end rushes and forechecking drills.
3) Unsurprisingly, the standout trio on Day 1 was the line of Morgan Frost centering Isaac Ratcliffe and Joel Farabee. The three figure to stay together during the Rookies Game at the PPL Center on Wednesday against the New York Islanders rookies.
"I consider myself a playmaker primarily. And Joel is also a playmaker. Ratty is a good shooter. So I think it's a good line. We can play off one another," Frost said.
Added Ratcliffe, "I think we bring different things to the table as players. It's definitely fun to play with those guys. I think we can score some goals together."
Asked if he envisions the three someday being a formidable NHL line for the Flyers, Gordon wisecracked that his thoughts are more about the short term.
"Sometimes, I say, 'This is going to be a pretty good line for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms!'"
Saturday's lines were as follows:
Orange: Ratcliffe - Frost - Farabee
White: Strome - Rubtsov - Laberge
Blue: Twarynski - Bunnaman - Kase
Yellow: Sushko - Vorobyev - Serdyuk
Gray: Cyr - Fitzgerald -Golo
4) Another Day 1 standout: third-year pro Mikhail Vorobyev. The Russian forward, who earned an opening-night roster spot with the Flyers last season after a stellar training camp and preseason but then struggled shortly after the season began, was especially effective on the forechecking drills. In one sequence, he picked a defender's pocket and then made a perfect centering feed for a point-blank scoring chance.
After the session, Vorobyev said through a translator that he felt fine physically all of last season (despite missing time due to injury) but admitted that he struggled emotionally after he was reassigned to the Phantoms. He later earned a second brief recall to the Flyers before finishing the season back in Lehigh Valley.
Vorobyev credited his coaches (Gordon and later Kerry Huffman) for helping him get back on track. The player said that the second demotion only took him about a week to come to grips with, but the first one emotionally lingered for awhile.
Asked how he's feeling now, Vorobyev didn't wait for a Russian translation.
"Great!" he replied in English.
5) Third-year pro defenseman Mark Friedman underwent minor abdominal surgery this offseason, according to Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr. He will not participate in Rookie Camp. However, Friedman is already back on the ice and is slated to be a full participant in NHL camp when it opens on Sept. 13.
6) Undrafted training camp tryout invitee Ben McCartney is day-to-day with a hip flexor, according to Flahr. The 18-year-old Brandon Wheat Kings left winger did not participate in Saturday's session.
7) Flyers 2018 first-round pick Jay O'Brien did not record a point in his BCHL regular season debut on Friday; a 4-1 road win for the Penticton Vees against the Trail Smoke Eaters. He had two shots on goal, one missed shot and a couple of takeaways. The teams rematched in Trail on Saturday night. O'Brien broke loose for two goals in a 7-1 blowout victory.
8) Sept. 7 marks the 8th anniversary of the horrific plane crash in Russia that killed the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, including debuting head coach Brad McCrimmon, on its way to its KHL regular season opening game in Riga, Latvia. McCrimmon, one of the top Flyers players of the mid-1980s, was 52 years old.
9) Sept. 7 Flyers Alumni birthday: Gino Odjick (1970).