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Rookie Camp: Day 1

News, Notes, Quotes, Video from Day 1 of Rookie Camp

by @NHLFlyers

Throughout the day, follow along with News, Notes, Quotes and hear directly from the players as Rookie Camp opens. Below are some observations from the first session, which took the ice at 10:30…

DAY 1: 
10:30-11:45 a.m.


* The Flyers rookies were by no means "eased into" the first day of Rookie Camp. The drills moved at a fast tempo and the competitive juices got flowing quickly in battle drills. 

* One of more intriguing matchups during 2-on-2s saw 6-foot-6 defenseman jostling along the boards with 6-foot-5 left winger Isaac Ratcliffe. Neither player typically competes against opponents their own size. The more experienced and filled-out Morin came out ahead on this one, claiming the puck and wheeling up ice.


* Flyers goaltending prospect Carter Hart, who has played one WHL preseason game after attending the World Junior Summer Showcase with Team Canada, got into a strong groove as the first-day session progressed. Ditto second-year pro Alex Lyon. As they got the feel for the puck and on top of their angles, the goalies increasingly stood out.

* Early on, though, the shooters appeared by ahead of the goalies. 

* At one point early in the session, left wing hopeful Oskar Lindblom potted a short-side goal from the right circle against Hart. That was soon followed by a wicked bar-down backhander by Mike Vecchione and a glove side goal by Connor Bunnaman.

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: The Rookies have arrived. #FlyersCamp


* The Rookie Camp attendees who already have some pro level experience under their belt and are a few years older -- players such as Morin, Lindblom and Travis Sanheim -- jumped out immediately. These players are typically a little more physically mature and a tad more polished.

* One exception was Nolan Patrick, the second overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft. While he will have more dominating days to come as he settles in, the forward's combination of puck skills and hockey sense came to the forefront. He anticipates plays at an advanced level befitting a player of his draft stature.


* The balcony was crowded on the Phantoms rink, with Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, development coaches John Riley and Kjell Samuelsson and Lehigh Valley Phantoms coaches among the observers. While the young players on the ice were focused on the drills they were doing, they were no doubt aware the assessment process is getting underway and were eager to impress.


* It has no means been by design but the last time the Flyers had a Swedish-born forward in the NHL lineup was on Feb. 12, 2006. That was the night Hall of Fame center Peter Forsberg played his final game as a Flyer before being traded to the Nashville Predators three days later. Since that time, the Flyers have had multiple Swedish defensemen on the roster, but no forwards. If Lindblom excels in training camp, he could be the one to change that. 

* There is also a Russian flavor to this year's Rookie Camp. Three Russian forwards -- 2016 first-round pick German Rubtsov, 2016-17 World Junior Championships standout Mikhail Vorobyev and undrafted camp invitee Ivan Kosorenkov are all on hand for their first Flyers Rookie Camp after attending Development Camp in July. 

* While each player has to worry about their own play first and foremost, it can be helpful for European players to have a countryman or two going through the same experience.


* Kosorenkov played right wing on a unit centered by Vorobyev. Carsen Twarynski was on the the left wing. The forward lines on Day One included the following:

Connor Bunnaman - Nolan Patrick - Anthony Salinitri

Oskar Lindblom - German Rubtsov - Pascal Laberge

Isaac Ratcliffe - Morgan Frost - Maksim Sushko

Nicolas Aube-Kubel - Mike Vecchione - Radel Fazleev

Carsen Twarynski - Mikhail Vorobyev - Ivan Kosorenkov

* There are also seven defensemen in camp, including four righthanders. The pairing rotated on the first day.


1:30-3:30 p.m.

With the first day of ice now in the books, below are some reactions from the players during the locker room scrums with the media:


Up first was Nolan Patrick, who shared his thoughts on skating competitively for the first time and even described his rehab.

"It was exciting. It my first time skating out here with some of the guys. It felt good for a first skate, and do some battle drills," said Flyers 2017 first-round pick Nolan Patrick. "I've felt 100 percent for about three weeks," Patrick said. "All the pain is gone [from offseason hernia repair surgery]."

Video: Nolan Patrick following day 1 of Rookie Camp


Another player in the spotlight from the media was Oskar Lindblom, who comes into his first Flyers training camp after spending the last couple years in the Swedish League where he is coming off his most successful season.

"It's tough. Everybody has to do their best. I've played against [pro] guys for a couple of years now but there's always things you can improve. I just want to play my best here and I'll play wherever they want me to play," Lindblom said.

Video: Hear from Lindblom following day 1 of rookie camp


One topic to emerge very recently was the injury to Anthony Stolarz, who Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced would be out for months, not weeks. The spotlight quickly shifted to Alex Lyon, but media also took note of 19-year-old rookie Carter Hart, who enters his second rookie and training camp after being taken in the 2nd round of the 2016 Draft.

"We had a lot of shots out there in the first drill, so I was able to settle in quickly," Hart said. "I took one off the mask, too, so that helped wake me up a bit."


Finally, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol shared some thoughts as he observed the first day of action, which was much noticeably up-tempo.

"Today is Day One for them competitively, and it's really about putting good competitive days together, one after another," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

"The sense of opportunity has been made clear over the summer to everybody. There's opportunity for veterans and there's opportunity for young guys. Right now, obviously, it's Rookie Camp, and today and tomorrow are a chance for a couple of good days of practice. Guys should be excited. There are guys who are in position to hopefully have good camps and take advantage of some of those opportunities."

Video: Hear from Myers following day 1 of rookie camp

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