With the first session beginning this morning, fans flocking to the Virtua Center Flyers Skatezone in Voorhees will see two groups of Orange & Black take to the ice (9:45 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.).
Among the groups, here are five players to keep an eye on (and why) during camp and preseason…
SAM GAGNER (C)
Perhaps no player is more excited to join the Flyers established group of forwards than Sam Gagner, who was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes just after June’s draft.
“They have a pretty established core here,” said Gagner after an informal practice before camp. “I think everyone has a lot to prove so I think it’s a challenge for myself. It’s a year where I can take a big step forward and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Camp will determine just where he fits in, but no matter where that is, Flyers GM Ron Hextall accomplished the club’s goal of upgrading the skill of forwards.
“I think in the right situation he can be a productive player for us,” said Hextall. “He is a player we were going to try and seek whether it was through a trade or free agency or what not. We felt like he was a good fit. We did our homework, we did our research, and everything came out good, so we feel good about Sam.”
Gagner is coming off a season where he posted 15 goals and 41 points bringing his NHL total to over 100 goals (116), 300 points (336) and over 550 games of experience (562). He enters his ninth year in the NHL but still is just 26 years old so the best could be yet to come for the former sixth overall pick (2007).
“I feel like being versatile is really important and wherever I fit in, it doesn’t matter, added Gagner. “I have to find a way to get my game on the ice and make sure I’m producing and helping the team win.”