Following a day of off-ice activities, the 2022 Philadelphia Flyers Development Camp resumes on the ice.
A deceiving off-season agenda unfolded yesterday. With the opportunity to obtain a high-end player and “aggressively retool,” Chuck Fletcher was unreasonably passive. In his press conference, Fletcher cited Cutter Gauthier as high-end talent from the draft, which is true, but not acceptable as the only maneuver to upgrade the forwards when Johnny Gaudreau wants to be a Flyer.
“Ideally, we [would] like to get more high-end skill, and I think starting the draft with Cutter Gauthier, he is a young man that can fill some holes for this organization down the road. I think first round picks are going to be a pretty important part of what we’re trying to do as well.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/13/2022
Welcome to the third on-ice session of the development camp. The attention and focus on developing these prospects are more heat-seeking than ever.
Flyers Development Camp: Day 4
The brass in Philadelphia is content with their talent. Fletcher didn’t present that at first, but his actions yesterday serve as the prime example. I mentioned Gauthier earlier in the development camp, but Alex Bump, the 2022 fifth-round pick, showed finesse. He slipped into the offensive zone, past Ty Murchison, on the way to scoring on an entry drill.
Also, Cara Morey spoke about her role as a guest coach in the 2022 Flyers Development Camp. Morey previously helped as a guest coach at the Flyers 2021 Development Camp, speaking highly of Wade Allison.
“It has been really cool coming here. I think just, as a professional, we all yearn to try to get to what they define as the highest goal. So, coaching in the NHL would be, still, it’s the highest, so, it would be a goal of mine.”Cara Morey; 7/14/2022
Perhaps this development camp isn’t just for the prospect pool in Philadelphia. It’s for the coaches, too. Hopefully, her trajectory places her on the Flyers coaching staff, or any NHL coaching staff. The players take after Morey. Earlier this month, Emily Engel-Natzke broke into the NHL with a full-time coaching staff role.
He is consistently on the scene in this development camp. Kjell Samuelsson and Mike O’Connell spoke highly of Attard throughout the week. O’Connell cited Erik Cernak as a comparison for Attard, which Samuelsson cosigned.
“Me and OC, we met before I went back for the summer, and he gave me a couple of guys to cue in on from the playoffs. That’s something I did; watch guys like Jacob Trouba and Cernak, players like that who just provide stability for their team. I know that’s a role I need to take under my wing; provide that stability on the back end and keep continuing to earn more ice time.”Ronnie Attard; 7/14/2022
Fletcher wants to stabilize Philadelphia as of late. He needs more seasoning, such is the point of this development camp, but he’s a high-interest prospect to alleviate all the woes at RD.
Heading into the 2021-2022 season, Desnoyers was a forward who caught my attention. He has the two-way skill and a high motor. In the 2021 Flyers Development Camp, he frustrated Morgan Frost. Fletcher did find a gem in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
“Coaches often talk about details; that’s something that I really like to take pride of doing. I love to study the game. It’s something that helps me a lot.”Elliot Desnoyers; 7/14/2022
He is in tune with the areas he needs to improve and critical of the details in the game of pro players as he soaks in what he needs to do in each zone. Desnoyers knows how to finish on offense, which isn’t the primary strength of his game. He cited Sean Couturier and Patrice Bergeron as the players to model his game after.
“Those guys are a little bit what I’ve been building my game around. Really complete players that are really good defensively as well.”Elliot Desnoyers; 7/14/2022
O’Connell also opened up about Tuomaala earlier this week.
Tuomaala will play in the Liiga in Finland, solidifying his role with an established organization and with a good coach. Last season, he split time in the Liiga with Sport and Jukurit, the latter of which he played one playoff game. In 2022-2023, he’ll rejoin Jukurit.
Still, inconsistencies prevented Tuomaala from having a regular season of development. Sami Kapanen joined Tuomaala at the podium following the fourth day of development camp, translating for the 2021 second-round pick:
“It’s more easy for me when I know where I play and where I need to go after camp.”Samu Tuomaala; 7/14/2022
He gets along with the Jukurit coaching staff and players. Tuomaala is familiar with his Liiga team. Kapanen credited Olli Jokinen for his coaching of Jukurit. Jokinen was an exceptional NHL player with 750 career points, and Tuomaala appreciates playing for him.
“It’s fun. Olli is a great coach coach for me.”Samu Tuomaala; 7/14/2022
A fourth-line bruiser, Deslauriers signed a 4yr/$7mil contract with Philadelphia. To make the team hard to face, Fletcher didn’t create space to sign an NHL superstar with more than a hundred points in 2021-2022. He spent money on a grinder focused on fighting to swing momentum and provide energy.
“I think I have proved I can play hockey. I’ve done a lot of work to add to my game; I have done a lot of power skating because it’s a faster league. Teams know what I can bring. The market was after me this summer. It was an interesting process.”Nicolas Deslauriers; 7/14/2022
Deslauriers isn’t a bad player in his role. There was a market for him. Unfortunately for Flyers fans, Fletcher was swimming in the wrong stream. The emphasis shouldn’t have been on bottom-six energy. Nonetheless, Deslauriers does fit John Tortorella’s request for a “hard” lineup, just not with the impact an “aggressive retool” suggested.
He represents the final piece of the coaching staff puzzle in Philadelphia. Successful in his previous endeavors, he coached the Windsor Spitfires to the 2017 Memorial Cup. Formerly an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks, but stepped down due to a “medical exemption,” which he wasn’t able to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Thompson and Evander Kane almost went toe-to-toe, a story would suggest. Kane recounts that a bit differently:
“We were just giving our opinions on what we can do better, and I gave my opinion at one point in time, and I think our assistant coach, he maybe didn’t agree with it. Anyway, the meeting was over, we’re all kind of getting ready, chatting afterward, and he comes back into the locker room with his shirt off, flexing and kind of being all hype and whatnot, and challenging me to a fight.”Evander Kane; 1/28/2022
A passionate hire, Thompson fits in with the coaching staff. Including Brad Shaw, the coaching staff led by Tortorella is a silver lining in a brutal off-season.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)