Finally, finally, finally the day Flyers fans have been craving for the past four months has arrived. The sounds of pucks hitting the ice, pucks hitting the post, and sticks banging on the ice is back in full force, Flyers training camp has officially opened for business.
The youth infusion that the orange and black will undergo this season has inspired so many people throughout the region. Gone are the days of overspending, as we don a new era of Flyers hockey. Some of these young great prospects in the farm system will make the team in the fall. Will all of them work out? Maybe not, but some will. This has Flyers fans pumped for the most anticipated season in recent memory. Without further delay here are six takeaways from the first day of camp.
Top Line Unit Groups 1 and 2
With this being Alain Vigneault’s first camp with the Flyers. There was a lot of speculation on how Vigneault would utilize these groups through the first day of camp. Well, it looks like we may have an answer as the Top Unit for day one was…
Group 1: Morning session
Giroux, Couturier, Farabee
Both lines were very cohesive as units, and it looked like they all played with each other for years. This line was smoking fast, and my word flat-out good. Couturier didn’t miss a beat from the off-season and was blazing fast. Giroux fresh off being a new dad had a wicked shot today.
Group 2: Afternoon Session
JVR, Hayes, Lindblom
Matt Niskanen, Ivan Provorov, Philippe Myers
Newly acquired Matt Niskanen showed off his offensive skills, and they were nothing short of phenomenal today. My geez does he have a rocket of a shot. He is likely to be paired with Provorov to start the season. Provorov (Fresh off his new contract) looked poised and ready to go. Philippe Myers has a wicked jump to his skates. He’s like Usain Bolt on skates. My gosh, he’s fast and tough to beat one on one.
“Obviously, it’s an opportunity. There’s a spot open, but that doesn’t mean anything, by all means. I still have to work my butt off and try to earn that spot…for now, that’s my goal.”
This kid Myers has an edge like I have never seen him have before. The jump in his skates is lightning fast, and he is just so tough to beat one-on-one. He is going to be tough to beat out for a spot on the opening night roster, barring injury of course. Myers is the real deal, and the Flyers top brass are licking their chops to give this kid a taste of NHL action. He is well on his way in securing a spot on the opening night roster, as Myers played well during the rookie game on Wednesday.
Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux
The moment we have all been waiting for the one and only “Couuuuuuuuuuts.” Couts chants are starting to ring out here in Training Camp, as he takes the ice with stride. Couturier looked good, and got a little rough in the corner 30 minutes into the session believe it or not, as he lost an edge in skates.
New dad in Giroux looks in great shape, as his dad body hasn’t fully started to take shape yet (Joking). He looks like he hasn’t missed a beat, and it’s great to him laughing and joking on this first day of camp.
Battle for Third and Fourth Line Wing
This is the key battle there. It’s like the Battle of Gettysburg, but at the Skate Zone. Mikhail Vorobyev, German Rubtsov, Scott Laughton, Joel Farabee, Isaac Ratcliffe, Morgan Frost, Connor Bunnaman, and Carsen Twarynski will do battle for these key positions. Rubtsov looked great not only in the rookie game, but rookie camp in general. He seems poised to give it a go for the big show. What do the other young budding prospects give the Flyers? Key question, and as training camp progresses we shall see. Today they looked good, and it will come down to the pre-season games to see who makes the big club.
Rubtsov, Farabee, and Frost looked really good on opening day. All three of these players know what’s at stake, as the majority of them have been at the Skate Zone for over a week now working out.
Sam Morin and Robert Hagg
Morin just wants to stay healthy. He looked solid today, and you can tell that training in the Summer has paid off in a big way. Morin looked good on his skates, and looked ready to go. He is well aware this a log jam at the defensive position,
Mika Cyr (F- Moncton Wildcats) was an invite to Rookie Camp. Hopefully, he impresses enough to earn an ELC, following Training Camp. Wyatte Wylie (RHD- Everett Silvertips) will hopefully earn an ELC Training Camp, as well. Wylie would then report to the Phantoms, even though he’s 19 right now. He turns 20 in November, so he would make the AHL age cutoff by the deadline of December 31st of this year’s calendar year.
Both players looked good in drills. The majority of players can look good in drills, but hopefully, it can carry over to the pre-season tilts.
What a great first day of camp it was. Fortunately, the party is just getting started. If you do attend camp this weekend don’t forget that there are awesome giveaways as usual. Stay with us for the most in-depth Flyers camp coverage.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre