July 07, 2017
It may be hot outside, but the Flyers are back on the ice. At least some of them.
On Friday, the team kicked off its annual prospect development camp – it runs through next Wednesday – and despite the (on-ice) absence of second-overall pick Nolan Patrick, there was apparently quite a bit of excitement at the Flyers practice facility in Vorhees, N.J.
Then again, that tends to happen when the Phillies are in last place and Eagles training camp is still a few weeks away.
I'm not saying it's slow in the Philly sports scene but there are about a dozen media members at the first Flyers prospects practice.— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) July 7, 2017
The good news is Patrick should be ready to go before too long. And that's where we begin today's edition of What They're Saying:
Flyers center Nolan Patrick, who the team selected with the second-overall pick in last month’s NHL Draft, won’t take part in their development camp that kicked off Friday, but he should return to the ice next week following abdominal surgery on June 13 to repair a sports hernia.
The recovery will keep Patrick, the No. 2 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, off the ice during development camp, which began Friday and runs through Wednesday.
"This will be the first time in a while that I will be completely healthy," Patrick said. "My injury was bugging me all season. … I'll be back on the ice next week and I'm excited."
Patrick's surgery was related to the sports hernia injuries that limited him to 35 games with Brandon of the Western Hockey League last season. He had surgery a year ago to fix one on his left side he sustained during the 2016 WHL playoffs, but failed to remove one on his right side. [nhl.com]
Patrick, however, was in Vorhees on Friday watching the rest of the Flyers prospects put in some work:
Of the four goalies taking part in development camp, Felix Sandstrom and Carter Hart are the two Flyers fans should know (and likely already do).
Hart, a second-rounder in 2016 has been impressive from the start, winning back-to-back WHL Goalie of the Year honors, including this past season when he also posted a .927 save pct. and a 1.99 GAA.
He also had a great answer to this question from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post:
I get a kick out of asking goalie prospects if this is what they expect when they meet Ron Hextall. Here’s what Carter Hart said... pic.twitter.com/ealHY4pvQ8— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) July 7, 2017
Here’s the closest Carter Hart says he’s come to going full Hextall. pic.twitter.com/4CI7KhBgeT— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) July 7, 2017
I hope Dave is planning a story on that with more of their answers.
As for Sandstrom, the Flyers’ third-round pick in 2015, he’s still a ways off from making the big club.
Sandstrom on possibility of making the team in 2 years: "I want to be a reason the Flyers win games... that's for sure motivation."— Kyle (@Kyle_Phillippi) July 7, 2017
And he’s got quite a bit of competition between Hart, Anthony Stolarz and others, like Alex Lyon.
A fifth-round pick in 2014, Oskar Lindblom has developed quite a bit as a player while spending the last couple of seasons in Sweden. Now 20 years old, the forward is hoping to make the Flyers roster, something not typically an option for the guys attending the team’s early-July development camp.
In fact, [Hextall] thinks Lindblom is a success story of development camp. This year is his fourth and now he may be ready to jump to the highest level…
“Oskar went away, no one knew who the hell he was, just a fifth-round pick over there getting better and better and all of a sudden — BANG — he’s the SHL forward of the year.”
It’s not entirely that simple. Some were following Lindblom’s progress as he made his way through Brynäs’ junior program and eventually the men’s club. This past season he had 22 goals. In the whole league, only teammate Kevin Clark had more with 23.
In a couple months Lindblom could be bringing that offense to the NHL where the Flyers could desperately use it. The team finished with 212 goals, tied for 20th of the 30 teams last season. Twenty-five of them belonged to Brayden Schenn, who was traded at the draft to St. Louis. [courierpostonline.com]
And here’s some of what GM Ron Hextall had to say on Friday, starting with his thoughts on Lindblom:
On the goalie situation:
On the purpose of development camp:
Finally, here's a look at their schedule for Saturday:
Here's the Flyers camp sked for tomorrow (same as today) pic.twitter.com/Mc5WcVI8zO— Kyle (@Kyle_Phillippi) July 7, 2017
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