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Rookie Camp: Wellwood's Opportunity?

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said it best yesterday when he stated that anyone on the ice would be given looks and an opportunity.

It seems that the young guys on the team took notice.

“You’re not going into camp just to practice,” said Eric Wellwood. “You’re coming here to make the team and it seems like there are some opportunities to make the team. That’s exciting and you want to put your best game in everyday.”

Wellwood: Opportunity? // Holmgren: Rookie Camp I Chris Pronger

Wellwood experienced a small taste in the National Hockey League last season as a call up from the Flyers’ farm team in Adirondack. He appeared in three games, averaging over 13 minutes and recording an assist in the process.

Selected by the Flyers in the sixth round (172nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Wellwood spent his summer building on the strongest part of his game because he knows the opportunities will be there and he wants to be ready for it again.”

“Over the summer I was still trying to get faster. You never want to be satisfied with where you are. That’s obviously my biggest strength and I want it to be an even bigger strength and bigger weapon.”
The Flyers Rookies will be on the ice from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Not only does he have the benefit of the coaching staff on his side, but someone very close to help guide him whose also fought for a position on an NHL team before.

“Right now he said don’t look at the team, the roster or the depth chart, but just go out and play,” said Wellwood on the advice that his brother Kyle has given him. “I think that’s one thing that I really have to do because sometimes it gets disheartening to look at the lines and see that you’re not on it.”

It seems that Peter Laviolette’s aggressive style and system is being engrained on the Flyers rookies game early on.

“We’re working on special teams and forechecking,” said Marcel Noebels, the Flyers’ fourth round pick in this June’s NHL Draft. “We’re learning a lot of neutral zone work and everyday we’re learning new systems to get right into it.”

The Rookies will have one more day on the ice before some will get to prove their metal in the Smoothie King Rookie Game between the Flyers and Capitals on Thursday. A full roster will be available tomorrow of who will be suiting up for the fifth annual contest.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren addressed the media today and brought with him some good news on defenseman Chris Pronger who is continuing his rehab.

“Physically I think Chris is finding out that he’s feeling better than even he thought he would. He’s pushed the envelope a little bit in the last couple of days going on the ice, shooting the puck and doing all that type of stuff.”

While it’s still questionable that Pronger will participate in this year’s training camp, set to begin this Saturday, Holmgren’s outlook is very positive for the beginning of the regular season.

“I think he’s right on track for all that he’s been through, and I’m excited about him being ready at the start of the season and I believe he is too.”
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