Flyers

5 observations from Flyers development camp: The Morgan Frost show, Cam York loves Gritty, more

5 observations from Flyers development camp: The Morgan Frost show, Cam York loves Gritty, more

VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers development camp was in full swing Tuesday.

Let's get into five observations from Day 1 of the five-day camp:

1. That's cold

Morgan Frost, one of the organization's top prospects, picked on a practice player in net during an afternoon shooting drill. Frost buried three shots top shelf all in a row. He then chatted with the goalie afterward in a friendly manner.

The 20-year-old center rotated to the next station and delivered another clinic. There's a reason he recorded back-to-back 100-point seasons to finish off his junior hockey career. He puts the puck where he wants it to go.

Frost's speed and skill will be tested at the pro level. How quickly his game translates will be interesting to watch.

"I don't think I really need people that are telling me I can't do it at the next level to motivate me," Frost said. "It's motivating enough for yourself to try to be the best player you can be."

2. Mr. Playoffs Jr.

Seeing the name Briere on the back of a Flyers jersey is commonplace in the Delaware Valley.

Flyers fans are getting the chance to see it again on the ice.

Carson Briere, the son of beloved former Flyer Danny Briere, is a development camp invite. 

His father was on hand Tuesday and signed a few autographs early in the morning as he entered the practice facility.

Briere caught up with assistant general manager Brent Flahr and took in much of the action, even watching the defensemen while his son was on the opposite ice with the forwards.

Carson, a 5-foot-9, 181-pound forward, had himself a heck of a season with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL, a Tier II junior league. The Arizona State commit scored 44 goals and 89 points in 59 regular-season games. 

3. 'Gritty's a beauty'

Philly is going to like Cam York.

The 2019 No. 14 overall pick has a smoothness to him, on and off the ice.

The 18-year-old defenseman also has bushy red hair. Some folks in the Twittersphere have likened him to Gritty.

"I saw a few things where they were comparing me to him," York said with a smile. "It's all good. Gritty's a beauty, so I take it as a compliment."

This kid gets it.

4. Yo, Yegor!

A defenseman to keep an eye on throughout the 2019-20 season — even training camp, actually — is Yegor Zamula.

He's really tall and long. His story and potential feel Philippe Myers-esque (see story).

His skating is impressive for a guy his size. He'll obviously have to get much stronger, but he's only 19 and the upside is evident.

5. Joel ready to roll

One-and-done Joel Farabee will be pushing for the Flyers' roster during training camp after a standout freshman season at Boston University and signing his entry-level contract in March.

Everyone is now facing the challenge of impressing a mostly new coaching staff and general manager Chuck Fletcher, who will be entering his first full season with the Flyers.

Farabee, a slender goal-scoring winger, is ready to embrace that challenge.

"I think it bodes well for me," Farabee said. "I can play a lot of different styles, a lot of different roles on a team, so I think that helps me. I'm really excited to meet the new coaching staff. I think all of those guys have had really successful careers so far, so it'll be interesting to talk to them and get feedback from them."

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Flyers' Sean Couturier leads all Selke Trophy candidates in PHWA's 2019-20 NHL midseason awards

Flyers' Sean Couturier leads all Selke Trophy candidates in PHWA's 2019-20 NHL midseason awards

The Frank J. Selke Trophy has long been a reputation award. The players that win it have built up a brand and are rightfully recognized.

Sean Couturier's do-it-all brand is starting to become recognized.

In the Professional Hockey Writers Association's 2019-20 midseason awards, Couturier was the leading vote-getter for the Selke Trophy among the 117 writers who filled out ballots.

The Flyers' 27-year-old center, who is in his ninth NHL season, has never won the award, which is given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. In 2017-18, his breakout year, Couturier finished as a runner-up to the Kings' Anze Kopitar.

This season, once again, Couturier has been one of the Flyers' most valuable players. Through 50 games, he is tied for the team lead in points (43), first in assists (30) and even-strength points (35), second in shots (131), faceoff win percentage (58.3), takeaways (31) and plus-minus (plus-15), third in shorthanded minutes (101:51) and fourth in ice time per game (20:02).

Over his last 40 games since Oct. 29, Couturier has put up 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists), a plus-22 mark and 32 even-strength points, eighth most in the NHL, while the Flyers have gone 22-13-5 in that stretch.

"He plays that full 200-foot game, but he's also got some good offensive abilities," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said last month. "He goes to the net hard, you see him a lot times challenging defensemen 1-on-1 and not being afraid to bring that puck and go to the tough areas. He's got the ability to make plays with the puck, he plays power play and penalty killing and 5-on-5."

Among NHL forwards since 2017-18, Couturier is the only one to rank in the top 10 of even-strength points (155 — tied for ninth) and shorthanded time on ice (441:55 — eighth).

And among NHL centers since 2017-18, Couturier ranks fourth in ice time per game (21:26), tied for fourth in even-strength points, fifth in plus-minus (plus-51), tied for fifth in faceoff win percentage (55.9), seventh in shorthanded time on ice, 15th in assists (118) and tied for 17th in goals (77).

In the PHWA's Selke Trophy midseason voting, Couturier finished ahead of the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (four-time winner) and the Blues' Ryan O’Reilly (last season's winner).

He’s grown into a real solid two-way centerman. I don’t want to say ‘Bergeron type,’ I think Bergeron is obviously the role model in the league, but I think Coots is closing in on how good Bergeron is.

I think because he might not be as flashy or look as spectacular as some of the other guys, maybe people don't notice him as much. But I can tell you, the people in this room, the people that play with him every day, they notice him.

- Vigneault on Couturier, Dec. 4

Here are the full results for the PHWA’s 2019-20 midseason awards:

Hart Trophy to the player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Norris Trophy — to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position.

1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes

Selke Trophy  to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

1. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Calder Trophy — to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.

1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
2. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
3. Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres

Lady Byng Trophy — to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Vezina Trophy — to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position.

1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes

Jack Adams Award — to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award — to the general manager adjusted to have contributed most to his team's success.

1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
2. John Chayka, Arizona Coyotes
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues

Rod Langway Award — to the defenseman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game.

1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Comeback Player of the Year Award — to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness.

1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights

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West Deptford Middle School is 'Oskar Strong' thanks to the help of 3 students

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USA Today Images/NBC Sports Philadelphia

West Deptford Middle School is 'Oskar Strong' thanks to the help of 3 students

It’s been just over a month since the news broke that Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. In almost an instant, the hockey community responded with an ample amount of love and support, where teams and fans from coast to coast represented the 23-year-old through the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative and purchasing "Oskar Strong" shirts through Biscuit Tees.

It doesn’t end there, though.

The community continues its fight alongside Lindblom and today is no different. Local students at West Deptford Middle School, Brody Chaplick, Zakk Carson and Brendan Halter wanted to be a part of "Oskar Strong" and found a way to do so that is truly inspiring.

The school has spent the past week selling purple bandanas to raise money and support for the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation. This sparked an idea among the friend group — to create a "wear purple day" at the school. Together, they created a flyer to suggest the idea to their teacher, Tom Lindsay, who was moved by their proposal.

When they first came to me, I knew they liked hockey and they know that I’m a big hockey fan — they brought this flyer to me. It was very inspiring because these three came up with this on their own. Just to have that act of caring and kindness for someone that they never met before … it really touched my heart.

So when Thursday Jan. 23 arrived, the hallways were filled with students and faculty wearing purple. On the morning announcements, the boys each took a turn explaining what exactly Ewing’s sarcoma is, to help educate their classmates who may not know. Carson even threw in some notable statistics of the left winger’s career with the Flyers.

Afterward, I was able to talk to the boys who put it all together. Here is what they said:

He’s going through something right now … and we wanted to have this day where everyone wears purple to honor Oskar and him fighting.

-Chaplick

We knew that he has been getting treatment and wanted to create a day as Hockey Fights Cancer Day to honor him and help him as he battles Ewing’s sarcoma.

-Halter

Halter even created custom shirts for the trio to wear today, where the front displays Lindblom’s number and "Oskar Strong."

(Pictured from left to right: Christine Trampe, Zakk Carson, Brendan Halter, Brody Chaplick, Tom Lindsay)

What was also notable was the back of the shirts to show support for Zach Steward and his fight as well. Steward, who previously attended the school and is currently in his second fight against Leukemia, was with the Flyers on their Hockey Fights Cancer night at Wells Fargo Center.


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THE MAN! #HockeyFightsCancer

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Christine Trampe, the school’s principal, was so proud of what her students were able to accomplish.

“I’m proud of our students every single day, but opportunities like this where they go above and beyond and are so caring and want to give themselves. We discuss all year long how we can make a difference. Middle School students can make a difference. Although they may be younger, they’re just as influential."

When Lindsay had approached Trampe about the students’ proposal, it was a rather easy decision on if they could go through with a day like this.

“It can’t just stop there,” Trampe said. “You have to be the organization behind it. They were the ones who had to create the flyer, bring the proposal to us, we had to edit it together — we went through the process of when you have an idea, you have to see it through to the end to see it come to fruition.”

The school holds many events and fundraisers all year long, but for three students to come up with this idea, just makes a moment like this even more special.

The hockey community is tightly knit and one small gesture like this can inspire those locally and even across the league. Both Carson and Halter have been playing hockey for some time now and with Chaplick starting soon, they’re going to be able to understand even more just how special of a community it is.

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