The boys are back in town! At least the rookies. It’s that time of the year again where we get to see the depth on display dressed in orange and black. On Wednesday, September 11th, the Philadelphia Flyers faced off against the New York Islanders in the 2019 Rookie Game live from the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This was an opportunity to see what young players were going to make strides in clinching a roster spot on the Flyers and what players will be seeing important playing time as they further develop in the AHL.
The fans in attendance, a sold-out 10,500 crowd, were feasting their eyes on the future of the Philadelphia Flyers. Against a team that has been on the upswing in the last year, the Flyers prospects put on a show early on. Jumping out to a 3-0 lead, it seemed that all pistons were firing like a well-oiled machine. The forecheck and puck movement was something that was more than required from the rookies, which shined in the first two periods of the game. Defensively, including the goaltending, things seemed to get sloppy when it was time to close out the New York Islanders. Philadelphia found themselves back where they don’t quite excel, which was the dreaded shootout.
Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, and German Rubtsov represented the Philadelphia Flyers in the shootout against the New York Islanders. Right away, Frost almost secured a goal on the first attempt but plunked the puck off of the right post. From then on, it was a stalemate until Oliver Wahlstrom potted the game-winner by Kirill Ustimenko. Rubtsov had one more opportunity to extend the shootout, but it was not meant to be. The Islanders rookies skated out of the PPL Center with a 5-4 victory in the rookie game.
It’s easy to look at a close loss, especially when up 3-0 at one point, and be pessimistic. If that is the takeaway from this rookie game, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This rookie exhibition is just that, a game that is meant for the front office and coaches to see what they have in the system with no repercussions. The New York Islanders have the win, but I am excited to note what I saw in the Philadelphia Flyers rookies. Below are some of those observations:
German Rubtsov: Scored two goals against the New York Islanders rookies. On the first goal, Rubtsov set up on offense and passed to the point to Philippe Myers. Myers drew two of the Islanders to leave Rubtsov open in the slot for the one-timer goal. Rubtsov’s second was a similar goal, this time on the powerplay in front of the crease. He created enough separation to select his shots.
David Kase: Scored a goal off of a turnover on a failed Islander’s clear. Kase played with tenacity, the kind of energy you want on the 4th line.
Sean Comrie: Handled the puck at the top of the point with confidence after a feed from Morgan Frost. Comrie had the patience to wait for a screened wrist shot from the point and scored a goal in the rookie exhibition.
Morgan Frost: Showed great vision to assist a scoring opportunity at the point for Sean Comrie. He’s shown flashes in one exhibition game that he can become a playmaker and isn’t selfish with the puck.
Joel Farabee: Farabee came within inches of burying the game-winning goal in overtime before the shootout. It looks like his wrist shot went off the left post. He almost snuck a puck by the New York Islanders in the shootout as well. If at all, Farabee showed that he can be a scorer on offense, but in the rookie game, the puck didn’t bounce his way. Farabee’s hustle is a reason why he could make a case to be reviewed for the Philadelphia Flyers roster.
Philippe Myers: Myers is the raved about defenceman in the rookie game for the Philadelphia Flyers. He drew to New York Islanders defenders to him to let German Rubtsov roam open for a one-timer goal. He moves smoothly on the ice and shows that he is an offensive-minded playmaker on defense.
Isaac Ratcliffe: Ratcliffe was also credited with an assist through the teamwork that led to Sean Comrie’s goal. Ratcliffe is another forward that could provide valuable depth for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Mikhail Vorobyev: Vorobyev pulled the trigger on a screened wrist shot that found the back of the net after it was deflected by Rubtsov. He doesn’t hold onto the puck when he should be peppering the goalie. It paid off and helped the Philadelphia Flyers gain a 3-0 lead.
Felix Sandstrom: Sandstrom split the game with Kirill Ustimenko. Only one goal was allowed on twenty-five shots against Sandstrom. Expect him to split time with Alex Lyon on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
These nine players showed the biggest impressions for the Philadelphia Flyers in their rookie exhibition game against the New York Islanders. Day one of training camp will be on Friday, September 13th. Below is The Flyers Narrative featuring Yariv Wolok of Philly Sports Network:
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.