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Farabee eager for homecoming of sorts with Flyers

Forward prospect has family members waiting for him in Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Joel Farabee remembers sitting in the stands at American Airlines Center in Dallas during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft and hoping to hear the Philadelphia Flyers call his name.

"My dad's side of the family grew up in Philly," said Farabee, an 18-year-old forward selected by the Flyers with the No. 14 pick. "My uncle and grandma still are living in Philly. Have a little shore house in Marmora [New Jersey]. Really cool to have been drafted by the Flyers.

"The Flyers were definitely my No. 1 choice if I had to pick. Just to hear my name called by them was really cool."

 

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Farabee said his yearly trips to the area made him a big fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, and he said one of his favorite athletes is former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

But it's another Philadelphia athlete he tries to emulate, Flyers forward and captain Claude Giroux.

"He wore the same number (28) as me this year," Farabee said. "Really good two-way player and he's really smart, and I really liked watching him."

The Flyers really liked watching Farabee, especially his two-way game and scoring touch.

"He's a real attention-to-detail player," general manager Ron Hextall said. "He competes hard, he's got speed, he's got skill, he can score. He's a good player."

Farabee had 76 points (33 goals, 43 assists), 207 shots on goal and eight power-play points, second on USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team in all three categories last season to forward Oliver Wahlstrom, chosen by the New York Islanders with the No. 11 pick.

More than just an offensive player, Farabee led the team with a plus-41 rating and five shorthanded goals.

Hextall wasn't the only one impressed. Kjell Samuelsson, who works in player development for the Flyers, had more information on Farabee than most; his son, Mattias Samuelsson, was a teammate with the NTDP the past two seasons.

"He can score goals, he can skate, he has a lot of good components," Kjell Samuelsson said. "Like everybody else in that age, the physical part is not there. … If you look at him, he has to mature physically."

Farabee (6-foot, 162 pounds) understands he needs to put on weight to handle the rigors of hockey at higher levels. The first stop is Boston University, where he'll play in the fall. After Flyers development camp ended Monday, he headed to BU to begin taking classes and working out with his future teammates.

Farabee said one look at his family tree has him confident he'll be able to get bigger and stronger. He said his father, Dave, is 6-3; his oldest brother, Jacob, 24, is 6-4, 201 and played forward last season at Connecticut College, an NCAA Division III school; and his middle brother, Jesse, 22, is 6-3, 185 and played forward at another D-III college, State University of New York at Oswego.

"My family is pretty big," he said. "… At this point I'm not worried about height, just worried about putting weight on. Going to college will really help me do that."

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