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Training Camp: Day 1

Rookies & vets hit the ice together for the first day of training camp

by @NHLFlyers


Group 2 saw a large contingent of veteran players: Voracek, Simmonds, Read, Weise and Couturier to name a few. Below is what stood out among the drills…


* Group 1 and Group 2 ran through the same sets of drills on the first day. Both sessions had an emphasis on what coaches often refer to as "conditioning skating". Players, of course, are often much less enamored of "bag skates" but also recognize their value during training camp. Gone are the days, however, when players could could play their way into skating shape during training camp. Nowadays, there's an expectation that players put in the time over the offseason to have their skating legs tested off the bat and then fine tune their stamina and game-day timing. One the best skating performers in either group was first-year pro Mark Friedman in group 1. In group 2 Philippe Myers stood out.


* While the 2016-17 season was a disappointing one for Dale Weise after signing with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent, he found some success late in the season as he clicked on a line with Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn. While Schenn is now a member of the St. Louis Blues, Couturier and Weise were together again on the first day of camp.

"I think we read off one another well last year, me and Coots and Schenner as well," Weise said on Tuesday. "I would love the opportunity to play with Coots again this year. He's a very smart player as well as big and strong physically. He's an easy guy to play with. Obviously, I will be glad to play wherever [Dave Hakstol] wants me to, but it would definitely be a great opportunity if I can continue to play on his line."


Weise - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Simmonds

Raffl - Laughton - Read

Bunnaman - Varone - Vecchione

Twarynski/Goulbourne - Fazleev - Martel

Hagg - Gostisbehere

Brennan - Gudas

Manning - Myers

Hora/de Haas - Willcox

Michal Neuvirth

Carter Hart

Leland Irving


* Coming off his second straight 30-goal season, Flyers alternate captain Wayne Simmonds was raring to go on Day One of training camp. 

He performed every drill with gusto and competed as if he was among the players who had to worry about winning a roster spot. That work ethic and competitiveness, of course, is a big part of how the once-unheralded Simmonds became an NHL All-Star and a Bobby Clarke Trophy winner. Biggest highlight for Simmonds on Day One: The All-Star right winger beat Carter Hart up high to the short side from a sharp angle that the goaltending prospect initially seemed to have covered. 

Video: Hear from Wayne Simmonds following day 1 of camp


* It took Robert Hagg a few years in North American hockey to start to find an identity as a defenseman. Last season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Hagg started to blossom as he carried over a promising final quarter of the previous campaign. 

In 2017-18, the soft-spoken Swede's decisiveness and confidence were evident. On the first of Flyers training camp -- the first year he has not attended Rookie Camp, because he is entering his fourth pro season in North America -- Hagg and partner Shayne Gostisbehere worked well together. At one point, however, Scott Laughton cut across in front of the net and scored a nifty goal. As they skated back to the side-boards, a smiling Hagg gave Laughton a playful forearm to the chest. 

Video: Hear from Voracek following day 1 of camp

Video: Hear from Patrick following day 1 of camp

Video: Hear from head coach Dave Hakstol following Day 1

Video: Hear from GM Ron Hextall following day 1 of camp


With nearly 60 players taking the ice throughout the day, The first group of players took the ice early in the morning to kick off a heated training camp with jobs on the line. Below are some observations from Group 1 which included a mix of veterans with rookies such as Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Sanheim and more…


* Over the course of the Group 1 session, there were a variety of 2-on-2, 3-on-2 and corner drills used in order to emphasize different aspects of the game. 

During a 2-on-2 drill, one set of skaters (subsequently a defender and attacker) would start at the top of the left circle, take the puck through the neutral zone and reverse direction. The other set of skaters would start at the right circle and go to the top of the circle on the other side before reversing. This drill simulated a counterattacking situation where the right side defender would have get back up ice to help while the left side defender faced a potential 2-on-1 if he did not. 

There was also a good three-player battle drill staged in close quarters with the puck in the corner and the net moved the near circle. Here it was muscle-on-muscle and sheer hard work that stood out whistle-to-whistle, although camp invite Ivan Kosorenkov roofed a beautiful shot under the crossbar along the way.


Later, the drills moved to more standard five-on-five work. The Group 1 line rushes and d-pairings were as follows:

Lindblom - Giroux - Konecny

Bardreau - Filppula - Lehtera

Laberge - Rubtsov - Kosorenkov

Carey - Knight - Salinitri

Provorov - Sanheim

Morin - MacDonald

Lamarche - Friedman

Brian Elliott, Alex Lyon and John Muse each took turns between the pipes.


* With almost machine-like precision, Ivan Provorov thwarted attackers in drills off the rush. They couldn't go wide on him, nor could they muscle past him to move inside the dots. There's a good reason why he won the Barry Ashbee Trophy last season and led the defense in ice time. The scariest part with Provorov is that he's still only scratched the surface of his talents.


* A few years ago, a video of Flyers defense prospect Samuel Morin closing off and then sealing a significant gap as he defended a rush through the neutral zone against Anthony DuClair (a player with world class speed) made the rounds on the internet. Skating full-out, Morin somehow caught up to ride the opposing player off the puck at the defensive blueline. 

On the first day of Flyers' training camp, Morin didn't do anything quite that dramatic but the nearly 6-foot-7 defenseman showed off hints of his straight line skating ability as he closed gaps effectively during the early drill. 

His long strides and wingspan are intriguing to say the least, and have always been among his biggest strengths. Footwork, positioning and decision-making with and without the puck are all areas he's worked very hard to improve in the two seasons since turning pro.


* Several times during the Group A session, second-season Flyers winger Travis Konecny set up teammates nicely with tape-to-tape feeds or clever passes. He also made a nice cut-in from the circle on one rush to snap a shot over Alex Lyon into the net. 

Video: Hear from Giroux following day 1 of camp

Video: Hear from Elliott after his first day with the team

Video: Hear from Lindblom following day 1 of camp


The Philadelphia Flyers training camp opens today with on-ice sessions at The Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. Today, the Flyers will split into two groups for on-ice workouts. Group 1 will take the ice from 9:45 to 11:30 AM and Group 2 will skate from 1:15 to 3:00 PM.

For fans attending today's camp, there will be free tech decals, cheer cards, and tshirts!

Here are today's Groups:

GROUP 1: 9:45-11:30 a.m.

11 Travis Konecny
15 Jori Lehtera
28 Claude Giroux
34 Corban Knight 
36 Colin McDonald
42 Cole Bardreau
46 Mikhail Vorobyev
51 Valtteri Filppula 
52 Greg Carey 
54 Oskar Lindblom
58 Taylor Leier
62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
63 German Rubtsov
75 Pascal Laberge
85 Anthony Salinitri  
89 Ivan Kosorenkov

09 Ivan Provorov
39 Mark Alt
45 Will O'Neill
47 Andrew MacDonald  
50 Sam Morin
57 Travis Sanheim
59 Mark Friedman
73 Maxim Lamarche

37 Brian Elliott
49 Alex Lyon
67 John Muse


GROUP 2: 1:15-3:00 p.m.

12 Michael Raffl
14 Sean Couturier
17 Wayne Simmonds
21 Scott Laughton
22 Dale Weise
24 Matt Read 
40 Jordan Weal
44 Phil Varone
56 Tyrell Goulbourne
70 Danick Martel  
74 Mike Vecchione
81 Carsen Twarynski 
82 Connor Bunnaman  
64 Nolan Patrick
65 Radel Fazleev
93 Jakub Voracek

03 Radko Gudas
23 Brandon Manning  
43 TJ Brennan
48 Robert Hagg
53 Shayne Gostisbehere
60 Reece Willcox
61 Philippe Myers
77 Frank Hora
85 James de Haas

30 Michal Neuvirth 
32 Leland Irving
79 Carter Hart

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