VOORHEES, N.J. — Morgan Frost had filled out his frame since the last time he was here.
Frost stood by his stall Thursday after the first day of the Flyers' 2018 development camp not only one year older but also noticeably more mature physically. Since Sault Ste. Marie's season concluded one day before Frost turned 19 years old, the 2017 first-round pick had gained nine pounds. He finished the 2017-18 campaign at 175 pounds but came to Voorhees weighing 184.
One day on the beach with U.S. Navy SEALs and Frost has to head back to the cafeteria.
“I actually weighed myself today,” he said. “After training yesterday, I was about 181. Trying to get a good dinner in here.”
If there's one thing holding Frost back from receiving a legitimate opportunity to make the Flyers in training camp, it’s his size. He still needs to add strength. Even on the team’s development-camp roster, he’s listed at 172 pounds. His goal is to play above 180.
With that comes the point of development camp. Teaching prospects how to be professionals, the small details that get overlooked. Think of groceries and laundry, everyday tasks we don’t even think about. The camp is more than just boring hockey drills.
For a prospect like Frost, it’s about learning how to gain the right weight, sustaining it and playing with it. For others, it’s about learning patience and taming the lion inside.
“They can’t get fully developed physically in one summer,” Flyers director of player development Kjell Samuelsson said. “That’s impossible, but they believe that. They go after it and then realize when next season starts, it’s going to take a long time.”
Take Mark Friedman into account.
Friedman, a 2014 third-round pick, is now in his fifth development camp. One has to wonder how much more Friedman can take out of it, even after turning pro last season. But as Samuelsson was quick to note, development camp is a little different for college players.
Because of their amateur status, a college player can't sign an entry-level contract and still play NCAA hockey like a major junior player can. As a result, they can’t participate in training camp and preseason, which was one factor why a prospect like Friedman is here.
Samuelsson said the Flyers require college players to attend development for one year after turning pro.
“We have changed the camp a little bit too,” Samuelsson said. “There’s always new things he can pick up. I honestly think he can learn a lot still. You never stop learning in hockey. I think [Friedman] can learn a lot still and he has a lot to learn just to become a pro.”
Another development camp veteran is Philippe Myers, who the Flyers discovered as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Now in his third camp, Myers is one of the team’s top prospects.
Myers’ first pro season in Lehigh Valley can be split into two tales. The first, Myers suffered through injuries. The second, he started to look like the player that began stealing headlines.
As the Flyers enter this summer looking to add a defenseman, Myers is the team’s best internal option to push for a roster spot in training camp. He’s a right-handed shot who skates well and moves the puck.
But Samuelsson was reluctant to say Myers is NHL-ready.
“If he had played a whole year," Samuelsson said, "maybe he would be close. But he was hurt a lot, so I think he needs more time in the minors."