VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers development camp saved its biggest and best for last.
The 2018 edition ended Monday afternoon with the always-entertaining 3-on-3 tournament, which elicited the largest crowd of the five-day camp.
One of the two practice rinks at Flyers Skate Zone was split in half. As one game played, the next would follow shortly after on the opposite sheet of the ice.
There were plenty of highlights. Let's observe five that stuck out to us:
The 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft flat out scores the puck and did so in the 3-on-3 tournament, netting four goals over four games for Team Clarke, who took home the championship.
The left winger is superbly accurate with his shot and puts the puck where he wants it to go, whether he's in close or around the perimeter. So when Farabee scores at a prolific rate, it's not because he's a volume shooter per se, but because he's grasped the intricacies of beating a goalie.
General manager Ron Hextall had an excellent explanation of Farabee's goal-scoring prowess. It's lengthy but worth putting the entire quote:
"He disguises whether it's a shot or a pass. He's got really quick hands and a lot of guys will come down, the goalie knows where they're going to shoot, they know exactly where they're going to shoot, right? So, you see goalies make a save and you go, 'Whoa, that was quick.' Well, it really wasn't because they read the puck off the stick blade rather than reacted to it. The puck is really hard to react to. Joel hides things — we call it deception. So, he's going to shoot the puck, he'll turn his hands real quick and bang and let it go. Or he'll open up for a shot and he'll pass the puck, so he's got a lot of deception. A lot of top guys in the league, you wonder why they score or how that pass went through. Well, they're showing hands to the defenseman, to the goalie — the little things that the naked eye doesn't see that they're doing, and Joel is one of those guys. His deception in his game is outstanding."
2. Ever since he was taken by the Flyers in the second round of the 2016 draft, Pascal Laberge has had a rough go in his development at the junior ranks.
His 2016-17 season was marred by a concussion stemming from a cheap shot.
This past year, he was traded midseason from the Victoriaville Tigres to the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL. Overall, he finished with 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists) in 64 regular-season games.
But the 20-year-old center put his potential on display in the 3-on-3 tournament when he ripped off three goals in no more than a minute of action. Two of those markers came on snipes from the outside as Laberge scored a tournament-high five goals in three games for Team Ashbee.
He'll play his first season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2018-19 and it'll be interesting to see how his game adjusts to the AHL level.
"Pascal is highly skilled, he's got good size, he skates well," Hextall said. "Really good hands and vision. The consistency part has got to come around. He's turning pro this year, so time for Pascal certainly to take it to another level. As I said, he's got an awful lot of ability."
3. Isaac Ratcliffe will be a player to watch in training camp and during the season.
He surprises when you witness his 6-foot-6 frame and then exhibits all this skill that you don't often see for a guy his size. The left winger's hands and touch are legit, as you can watch here from Friday's drills.
Isaac Ratcliffe ... not too shabby for a 6-6 guy. pic.twitter.com/cy7DHTtFVf— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) June 29, 2018
The 2017 second-round pick scored 41 goals in 67 regular-season games last season for the OHL's Guelph Storm. On Monday, he tallied four for the champions, Team Clarke, and at one point smoothly went through his legs in traffic to get off a shot in close.
"We're standing out there yesterday going a guy that big shouldn’t have that good of hands — he's got good hands," Hextall said Sunday. "He moves really well for his size and his age. You look at a 19-year-old kid who's as tall as he is and as coordinated as he is, it's not the norm. We're excited about the prospects for him."
4. James De Haas and Wyatt Kalynuk are a few under-the-radar defensemen who had strong camps and made nice impressions in the 3-on-3 tournament.
De Haas, a 24-year-old signed by the Phantoms last summer, scored four goals.
"He was terrific. … He looked really good out there today," Hextall said. "A bit of an older guy. The steps he's taken the last 12 months, you go, 'Whoa.'"
Kalynuk, a 2017 seventh-round pick playing at Wisconsin, scored one and also potted a pretty shootout tally on Carter Hart. He was also impressive Saturday.
"He's a late-round pick and he's taken a step," Hextall said. "He was a very good player at Wisconsin last year. But you watch the way he skates and the way he reads the game and the way he passes the puck."
5. Felix Sandstrom, a 2015 third-round draft pick, made a handful of strong saves and was the championship-winning netminder.
The 21-year-old Swedish prospect will play another year in the SHL next season.
"We're very high on Felix," Hextall said. "He's a real competitor. He's a really hard worker. He's a great teammate and he's a great kid. You seem him today, he's a hungry hockey player right now."
Here are the final goal tallies and goaltending stats from the tournament.
Philippe Myers, the camp's standout defensive prospect, did not participate because of a slight muscle pull.