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DAY 1: Eyes on Schenn-Couturier

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
"This means more."

Sean Couturier couldn’t have said it any simpler than that.

The 18-year-old center, who was drafted eighth overall by the Flyers in June, was commenting on the difference between the Prospect Camp in the summer and his first ever Rookie Camp that will lead into the official 2011 Flyers Training Camp set to begin this Saturday.

While the camp in early July for prospects is more for learning and development, this end of summer camp is for all the marbles.


Couturier hopes to create some tough decisions for management and the coaching staff on their final opening day roster.

“This is camp and we’re all here to prove ourselves. I want to work hard every time I’m out there and give a good first impression, and it will be up to the staff to decide.”

And make no mistake about it. The staff IS watching.
Brayden Schenn takes a break between drills on Day 1 of Rookie Camp.

“Anybody who’s on the ice has a shot,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “It would be unfair to say this guy has a shot and this guy doesn’t. Ultimately players should be judged on the way they play. If somebody comes on here and they’re dynamic and deserve to make this team, they’ll get a good long look.”

From the scouts point of view he has the game to make the jump. Prior to his draft, the report on Couturier was that he has a good two-way game and is responsible in his own end.

Another player coaches, as well as fans coming out to the Virtua Center Flyers Skatezone in Voorhees, N.J., have been keeping a watchful eye on is Brayden Schenn.

“This always seems to happen at the beginning, to try and talk about players, but I think the real test is games,” said Laviolette. “I really liked Brayden [Schenn] in the development game. You can tell that he’s smart; he moves well at both ends of the ice; he scored goals and he’s talented.”

While this is Couturier’s first look at a pro camp, Schenn has been through the routine before, appearing in the Los Angeles Kings’ camp for the last two years. This year however, he feels more ready than ever to make the jump.

“I do,” said Schenn. “I feel more confident and more comfortable out there. This is the third time around for me, and I have a good opportunity and I’m going to make the most out of it.”

For Schenn and the rest of the 27 other rookies attending the three-day on-ice camp, the opportunity is this week with concerns of next week’s Flyers Training Camp not yet in focus.

“The rookie camp is important,” added Laviolette. “The practices are important and the rookie game at the end of the week is really important on how we move forward and into our camp. This is a big week for a lot of people, but there is opportunity and that opportunity is for everybody.”

Judging from Day 1, Laviolette likes what he sees. The talent-level is high and the competition level is fierce, which can only mean one thing – It’s going to be a very exciting Flyers Training Camp beginning on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
A view of the ice being made at the Wells Fargo Center in preparation for the 2011 Smoothie King Rookie Game on Thursday between the Flyers and Capitals rookies.

“I thought it was a good pace and we seem to have good speed and good talent out there. There’s also a good mix of competitive players as well, so that’s why I said the game will be interesting.”

In preparation for the upcoming preseason, beginning with the fifth annual Flyers-Capitals Smoothie King Rookie Game this Thursday, the ice is being painted and frozen down on the Wells Fargo Center’s floor.

The ice making process began early in the morning when a thin layer of ice was sprayed onto the event floor.  Once frozen, a white soluble paint is sprayed to obtain the white background.  Water was then sprayed to build up the ice to one-quarter inch.  Lines and logos are stenciled into the ice and sealed with light water sprays before the line and logo painting process begins.  Once the lines and logos are dry, the spray flooding process begins, building the ice to a full inch thick.  More than 10,000 gallons of water will be used in the process.

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