In July, the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the 2023 Development Camp at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, NJ. Despite the absence of Matvei Michkov and Cutter Gauthier, the crowd packed into the Flyers Training Center generated a buzz before the Team Clarke versus Team Lindros scrimmage, which concluded the 2023 Development Camp.
Today, the 2023 Flyers Rookie Camp begins.
A year ago, at the 2022 Flyers Rookie Camp, players such as Tyson Foerster, Olle Lycksell, Yegor Zamula, Noah Cates, Zayde Wisdom, and Ronnie Attard improved their profile within the system. Foerster and Cates were notable to varying degrees; one received Frank J. Selke Trophy votes, and the other tallied 3G and 4A in a five-game point streak to make a solid impression. Zamula made the 2022-2023 opening night roster, pairing with Nick Seeler.
The 2023 Flyers Rookie Camp offers similar storylines. Foerster remains a favorite to make the NHL roster on opening night, but other opportunities remain wide open. His teammate, Bobby Brink, also has tons to prove to his coaches, teammates, and himself. Adam Ginning could be a candidate to sneak into a third-pair role with the Flyers if he has a strong camp. The spotlight focuses on younger skaters, no matter the role, as they compete to increase their stock with a rebuilding franchise.
But first, the NHL roster took to the ice for an informal scrimmage. Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson made long-awaited returns. Both missed last season; Couturier had a herniated disc in his back, and Atkinson herniated discs in his neck.
Confidence looks great on Foerster. That’ll stay with a skater who made the impression he did last season in an eight-game stint.
“He had the swagger all year. He’s been one of our [workhorses] with Desnoyers, Anisimov, Lycksell; he carried the load, especially offensively. Every time a kid gets called up, I watch their games. We all do as a staff. We’re proud of those kids and want to see how well they do. When the Flyers called him up, he was a different player than we saw two years ago, and that’s great news. He was managing the puck like a veteran out there. We all know he can shoot the puck [and] we all know he can make plays, but there’s more to that in this league.”Ian Laperriere; 9/14/2023
Throughout the summer, Foerster trained most weekends at the Flyers Training Center, focused on making the NHL roster out of the 2023 Flyers Training Camp. Despite a five-game point streak to end his 2022-2023 stint, he has to regain trust from the coaching staff.
Brink returned to the ice with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms back in January. He said he felt a ‘bit behind everyone else,’ but an even playing field ahead of a new season is beneficial. On the ice, Brink doesn’t even notice any signs of lingering from a torn hip labrum.
“He’s [Brink] got great hands, he scores, and produced for us down there [Lehigh Valley Phantoms], but this training camp I’m very excited. That’s the guy I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m going to give him a lot of ice time this weekend.”Ian Laperriere; 9/14/2023
As the season moved along with the Phantoms, Brink caught up to speed. He made the best of his situation, competing in the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. Brink totaled 28 points (12G, 16A) in 41 games before adding another assist in a 2-1 series loss to the Charlotte Checkers.
Andrae will remain in North America, whether the Flyers or the Phantoms. He received permission from HV71 in the SHL after discussing with his agent.
He played 13 games with the Phantoms last season, including the Calder Cup Playoffs. Andrae got the overall feel for hockey in North America, focusing on preparing his body for a long season with the change of scenery. His most challenging adjustment, in correlation to rink size, was gap control on defense. Mostly, Andrae is keeping true to his game.
“I don’t want to do anything in half speed. I just want to give it all every time I’m out there; otherwise there’s no point in being out there. That’s just how I am and how I’m going to still be.”Emil Andrae; 9/14/2023
The Flyers reshuffled the defense, and there are opportunities for fresh talent to inflitrate the NHL. Andrae is pushing for a seat in Philadelphia along with Zamula, Attard, Ginning, and Victor Mete.
Carson Bjarnason started between the pipes at the 2023 Flyers Development Camp in the Team Clarke versus Team Lindros scrimmage. Alexis Gendron and Owen McLaughlin put the puck past Bjarnason during the five-on-five scenario of the scrimmage. Bjarnason had the last laugh in a shootout, standing his ground to hold onto a 5-4 win.
He is working closely with Kim Dillabaugh, learning good goaltending habits, like how to play the puck with more control. Bjarnason is pushing to make the World Juniors roster for Canada. Last season, he touted a 4-2-0 record at the U18 World Juniors with a 3.51GAA and 84.9%SV for Canada en route to being the highest ranked North American goaltender entering the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Chasing down a roster spot with Canada at the U20 World Juniors will strike a similarity with Carter Hart, a player Bjarnason called a ‘role-model.’
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)