Always learning and listening, Matthew Strome won't stop with Flyers

Always learning and listening, Matthew Strome won't stop with Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Matthew Strome doesn't mind hearing it.

The constant belaboring of one weakness would drive most teenagers up a wall.

But not Strome.

He's a learner and a listener, traits he developed growing up with two older brothers who turned into first-round NHL draft picks. When you have such influences, taking advice and using it becomes greatly valued.

So a setting like July development camp is ideal for Strome, who was drafted by the Flyers last month in the fourth round. He was considered a talent worthy of the top two rounds, but the 18-year-old winger has trouble skating. As a result, he dropped.

"Call a spade a spade — his skating has to improve," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said in June after the draft. "We all know it. He's a good hockey player with good size. He makes plays, scores goals and knows how to play the game.

"He's got one deficiency there he can focus on and we like where we got him. It's up to Matthew to put the work in."

Eager and willing, Strome started putting the work in among the 40 prospects at Flyers development camp, which ended last week. From the get-go, the annual instruction puts a strong emphasis on skating.

"That is the whole point of being here for a week," Hextall said. "Matthew Strome, right? Skating. He's learning to be a better skater."

Like an impressionable student, Strome soaked up the knowledge, particularly from Flyers skating coach Slava Kouznetsov.

"Coming here the first day, it was more weight transferring stuff, yesterday was edges and today was escaping out of contact," Strome said after the first three days of camp. "So I think there's a bunch of different stuff that I'm going to take back home from here and just continue to work on that throughout the summer."

Strome is always working, thanks to his brothers, Ryan and Dylan, who play for the Oilers and Coyotes, respectively. They push Matthew to be better.

"That's what I'm trying to do," Strome said. "In the summer working with my brothers, they just keep saying that it never stops."

Ryan was drafted fifth overall in 2011, while Dylan went third overall in 2015. Times have been busy for the Strome family, as Ryan was traded from the Islanders to the Oilers two days before Matthew was drafted by the Flyers.

"Even my brother Ryan, he just got traded, he's still working on stuff," Strome said. "It never stops, something new always pops up. Whenever something new pops up, just be determined to get good at it, and once you're good at it, move onto the next thing and keep working from there."

Strome leans on his brothers, no matter how chaotic their schedules become.

"Text every single day, FaceTime once a week, maybe," Strome said. "But mainly just texting and just communicating — I think that's the biggest thing. We don't see each other that much throughout the year, but when we do, we just make the most of it.

"They'll be on me. They know what I can do. They're so supportive of me."

It's the driving force behind Strome's appreciation for learning and listening.

"It's a big help," Strome said. "I just turned to them for advice whenever I needed it last year and now during the camp, those are the two guys I turn to the most when I need something for them to help me with."

Knowing the skating can be rounded into shape with time and attention, the Flyers clearly saw a lot to like in Strome's positives. He's 6-foot-3, 201 pounds with skill and smarts. His stick work is developed and he knows how to score. Last season in the OHL, his second year of junior competition, Strome led the Hamilton Bulldogs with 34 goals and 62 points in 66 regular-season games. He also had 28 assists and was more than a point-per-game player in the postseason, delivering eight points (one goal, seven assists) in seven contests.

"I think my shot and my hockey IQ," Strome said of his strengths. "Just knowing where the play is going to go before it gets there."

As he prepares for another junior season, Strome will keep absorbing advice along the way. Not just from his brothers now, but also from the Flyers.

"Learn from some of the older guys here and just see what it takes to make it to rookie camp, make it to main camp and then just go from there," Strome said. "Just taking it all in, learning from the video sessions, from the sports science stuff and just going from there."

Future Flyers Report — Anthony Stolarz's long road back to playing

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Future Flyers Report — Anthony Stolarz's long road back to playing

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects.

Anthony Stolarz, G, 24, 6-6/232, Reading (ECHL)
It was a long road back but Stolarz found his way back on the ice last week.

Stolarz began his rehab stint with the Royals and it doesn’t appear to be a long one. Per Jason Guarente, Stolarz packed up his gear Saturday and appears headed back to Lehigh Valley.

With Reading, Stolarz allowed six goals on 61 shots. As of this post, he has yet to be recalled.

The 24-year-old had been out since last April and underwent left knee surgery in September. Now that he’s back on the ice, expect Stolarz to see some AHL action. He’s on a one-year deal.

Carter Hart, G, 19, 6-1/177, Everett (WHL)
Well, some disappointing news first. He failed to break the WHL shutout record, allowing one goal in Everett’s final regular-season game. He finishes his junior career with 26 shutouts.

Hart enjoyed one of the best junior seasons ever from a goalie and dominated the WHL. He led the league in goals-against average (1.60), save percentage (.947) and shutouts (7). The disparity between Hart and the No. 2 goalie, Cole Kehler, in GAA is remarkable. Hart finished with more than a goal better average than Kehler’s 2.77. Griffin Outhouse was second in save percentage, with .914. Hart was head and shoulders above his peers in the WHL.

Up next, the WHL playoffs. Then next season, the AHL. Hart watch is ramping up.

Morgan Frost, C, 18, 5-11/172, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Frost’s quest to lead the OHL in points came up short but the Flyers' “other” 2017 first-round pick finished his draft-plus-1 season as a 1.67 point-per-game player.

The 18-year-old’s regular season ended Sunday with a goal and an assist. He finished the season with 42 goals, 70 assists and 112 points and led the OHL as a plus-70 player. Next up is the OHL playoffs.

Let’s cool the jets on the Frost on the Flyers talk next season. There is a chance he outshines the competition in training camp but he still needs to bulk up a considerable amount.

March Madness
The NCAA Tournament begins Friday. It’ll feature four Flyers prospects, Michigan’s Cooper Marody and Brendan Warren, Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski and Clarkson’s Terrance Amorosa.

Quick Hits
• Phantoms center Mikhail Vorobyev remained hot last week with two assists in three weekend games. He has eight points in his last nine games.

• Pascal Laberge’s point streak reached nine games before ending Friday. He finished the regular season with 47 points in 64 games between Quebec and Victoriaville.

• Matthew Strome, who signed his entry-level contract last week, finished the regular season with Hamilton with 37 goals and 68 points.

Isaac Ratcliffe’s season wrapped up on a four-game point streak and three-game goal streak. Ratcliffe led Guelph with 41 goals and 68 points.

• The Flyers signed Maksim Sushko to his entry-level contract. Sushko finished with 31 goals and 60 points. Five of the Flyers’ seven 2017 draft picks have signed.

Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

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Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brandon Montour scored a power-play goal, helping lift the Anaheim Ducks into third place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.

Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who lead Los Angeles by two points in the division. Anaheim won its third straight game and is 6-1-0 in its last seven at home.

John Gibson made 15 saves, improving to 9-2-0 in his last 11 starts.

Kyle Palmieri had a power-play goal and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Devils, who had won the first three games of their six-game road trip. Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves, ending a four-start winning streak.

New Jersey holds the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Florida (see full recap).

Karlsson's hat trick helps Vegas beat Flames
LAS VEGAS -- William Karlsson scored a natural hat trick to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Colin Miller also scored as Vegas snapped a four-game home losing streak and improved to 25-9-2 at T Mobile Arena.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made his 20th start in 21 games, made 42 saves. In getting his 48th career shutout and fourth of the season, Fleury moved into a tie with Chris Osgood for 12th all-time amongst goaltenders at 401.

Vegas improved to 3-0-0 against Calgary while outscoring the Flames 15-5. The teams meet once more, in the regular-season finale at Calgary on April 7 (see full recap).

Laine scores twice, matches Ovechkin for NHL goal lead
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Patrik Laine scored twice to extend his point streak to 15 games and tie Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal lead, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Sunday night to match the franchise wins record at 43.

The second-year sniper has 43 goals, matching the total from Ovechkin, the Washington star and Laine's boyhood favorite. Laine's point streak is the longest active run in the NHL and adds to his league record for the longest point streak by a teenager. The streak includes 18 goals and eight assists.

Ben Chiarot also scored and Blake Wheeler added an empty-netter for Winnipeg.

Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn each scored for Dallas (see full recap).