Flyers

Flyers prospect Morgan Frost answering every question along path to NHL

Flyers prospect Morgan Frost answering every question along path to NHL

What more can Morgan Frost do?

It was a question many probably asked for him ahead of his final season at the junior level. Frost toyed with the competition in 2017-18, creating offense that looked unfair at times. The 2017 first-round pick finished with 112 points (42 goals, 70 assists) and a plus-70 rating in 67 regular-season games, as his Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds dominated the OHL with a 55-7-6 record and 116 points.

Somehow, though, Frost found a way to get better, to improve the all-around makeup everyone has preached to him since he was drafted 27th overall by the Flyers.

This season, in his final year of junior hockey, everything is elite again from a production perspective. The next-level component is Frost molding the intangibles.

He hasn't settled, when he easily could have with more eye-popping numbers.

"There's not a lot for me to say to Morgan at this point," first-year Sault Ste. Marie head coach John Dean said last Friday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "He's done everything we could possibly ask of him."

He's looking and sounding more and more like an NHL-ready player. 

The dexterous 19-year-old center put up eight points (four goals, four assists) in five games for Team Canada during the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. With the Greyhounds, he has 78 points (31 goals, 47 points) through 40 games.

But here's what has impressed Dean most:

Over the course of the year, I think the greatest thing that has been really fun to watch is to see what kind of a leader he keeps growing into. He leads by example, he puts the young guys under his wing and he's really growing into a 200-foot player.

When you have a player of Morgan Frost's talent and obviously being a first-round pick, when he welcomes you with open arms, it makes life easy on our young guys. 

But he also leads by example on the ice, he manages the puck properly, he makes sure that he knows when he should be making plays and when he shouldn't be. … He's smart in his own zone, he works really hard on the way back and he does it at appropriate times in the game. 

Obviously everyone knows him as an offensive player, but I think he has really evolved away from the puck. It's real easy to point to a guy like that to the rest of his teammates when he's doing the right things with the puck and without the puck.

A specific example of that came Jan. 20 during a game in which Frost scored five goals and "could have scored seven or eight with the opportunities that he got," according to Dean.

"But we were also down by two and he really, really maintained the composure of the bench, he continued to play the 200-foot game even when we were up by two or three goals," Dean said. "The example he set away from the puck, it's starting to get rewarded with the puck."

Over that weekend, Frost scored seven goals and nine points in two games.

And he didn't lose focus of playing the right way.

"I think the intangibles that he provided over the course of the weekend were arguably more important than the goals he scored," Dean said.

So Frost is again scoring at a prolific clip, he has gotten stronger, he plays on Sault Ste. Marie's first-unit power play and penalty kill, he's blossomed into a leader and is working both ends of the ice.

He's making the what-more-can-he-do question unanswerable.

"He's just too smart to not be put in all situations," Dean said. "He's a dependable guy, he knows how to play in those situations, he enjoys the pressure of those situations and, quite honestly, he thrives in those critical minutes of the game."

Frost will be shooting for the Flyers when 2019 training camp rolls around in the fall. He's set to turn pro in 2019-20 and you can bet his eyes will be on Philadelphia, not Lehigh Valley.

He has proven enough for that to be his goal.

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Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — Let the games begin.

The Flyers on Sunday finished up their third consecutive practice of training camp leading into Monday night's preseason opener against the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP).

During the first two days of camp, head coach Alain Vigneault really pushed the tempo. The team studies the drills before hitting the ice, so when one drill finishes, the next begins at a bang-bang pace. On Day 3, Vigneault pulled back the reins because the Flyers begin a stretch of four exhibition games in six days.

Vigneault and the team's training staff study the data.

"I do the pace, I do the practice, but I also use the science," Vigneault said. "Our guys right now, as we're practicing, are monitored by our strength coach and I know the different loads that we're attaining. 

"The first two days, the loads were very high, more than a game's worth. Today, I tapered down a little bit, I shortened practice up a little bit. Because these guys are playing [Monday], I want them to have energy. I follow the science. 

"I was fortunate enough that I when I went to New York, we had sort of the same basis. I got here and they had the same formula for loads, lengths and intensity of practice. I'm able to use that and monitor that real well."

Let's get into five observations:

1. Patrick? Present!

Nolan Patrick missed the first three days of training camp with an upper-body injury. He's considered week to week but it's uncertain when he'll return to practice or if he'll be ready for the regular season.

Patrick, however, has been skating and getting in work before the Flyers take the ice, which the 20-year-old center did again Sunday morning.

It's never good to miss the beginning of camp or preseason, especially when there's a new head coach implementing systematic changes and competition is ripe for spots.

But Vigneault said Patrick has been very involved, essentially doing everything he can without actually practicing.

"It's unfortunate, but at the same time, he's in all the meetings, he's doing extra on the ice with our skill coach," Vigneault said. "Hopefully this upper-body injury will leave and he'll be back with us. But I think the fact that he's here and he's capable to see the video that we're showing and he knows all the drills that we're doing, he is behind, but he is not as far behind as someone that's not physically here at this time."

Another message to Travis Konecny?

2. Lineup stuff

Here's how the Flyers' forwards will look Monday night:

James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek 
Isaac Ratcliffe-Morgan Frost-Joel Farabee 
Oskar Lindblom-German Rubtsov-Chris Stewart 
Kyle Criscuolo-Mikhail Vorobyev-Maksim Sushko

The Flyers' top line could be the second unit in the season opener. It has size mixed with skill and playmaking. Hayes (6-5/216) and van Riemsdyk (6-3/212) were with each throughout the first three days of camp, while Voracek (6-2/217) joined them Sunday.

"You've got three guys with great puck protection skills, three guys that have got some good speed," Vigneault said. "Some might say that JVR is not the quickest, I would say to you he skates a lot better than people think.

"Once they're in the offensive zone and they have the puck, it's going to be tough for the other team to get it back. I'm really anxious to see how those three are going to do together."

The Flyers' three top prospects are also back together. The trio was impressive during rookie camp and the prospects game.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Braun, Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin are the notable defensemen suiting up Monday. Brian Elliott will start the game in net and be relieved by Alex Lyon.

3. Giroux-Couturier-Farabee

Vigneault doesn't expect to play Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier in Tuesday's second preseason game, either.

So what will happen with the Giroux-Couturier-Farabee dream line that has had everyone abuzz?

"There's a definite strong possibility after [Tuesday], we will see that young man with those two players," Vigneault said. "They had a real good first couple of days. We decided with management that this is the group we want to go with [Monday]. Then they'll watch the game and probably make other decisions for the next day."

It's good to hear those three will likely get a game together. They were that good during the first two days of camp and the Flyers need to get the best read they can on Farabee during the exhibition slate. Playing him with talent will help.

4. The Konecny situation

The Konecny hiatus will now linger into the preseason schedule. And even if Konecny and the Flyers agree to a contract sometime this week, it would be difficult to throw him into a preseason game with little to no practice. 

Which means the 22-year-old could very well miss more than half the preseason given the Flyers play four of their seven exhibition games this upcoming week.

Hard to believe.

With the unknown surrounding Patrick and Konecny, those are two first-round picks, two young forwards that can legitimately make or break the team's depth in 2019-20.

The Flyers, prone to slow starts in years past, are already facing some challenges.

5. That's nuts

Moments after a drill, Carter Hart went down on one knee and was shaken up.

The beloved 21-year-old goalie didn't miss any drills and was able to finish practice.

Phew.

Everything fine?

"I got it right in the nuts," Hart said. "It didn't feel very good."

Ouch.

"I thought maybe they crawled up into my stomach after that," he said.

At least he's OK.

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Flyers, Warriors team up for beautiful salute, beautiful cause

zack_hill_philadelphia_flyers_bobby_clarke_warriors.jpg
Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers, Warriors team up for beautiful salute, beautiful cause

VOORHEES, N.J. — It started with a phone call from Rick Stabeno.

"The call was very simple: 'I'm a Flyers fan, I'm a veteran, I'm a hockey player, I would like to start a team in the Philadelphia area. Can you guys help me?'" former Flyer Brad Marsh said.

It has blossomed into the Flyers Warriors hockey team, dedicated to U.S. Military Veterans with disabilities and a passion to play the sport.

"Dream come true," captain Jim Young said after Flyers legend Bobby Clarke handed him his Warriors jersey Saturday at Skate Zone.


(Jordan Hall/NBC Sports Philadelphia)

(Jordan Hall/NBC Sports Philadelphia)

Just like the big club, the Warriors are at the practice facility competing in their own training camp, featuring 33 veterans and sponsored by Toyota. Marsh, also the director of Flyers alumni and community development, coaches the team.

Prior to the Flyers' preseason game Monday against the Islanders, the Flyers Warriors will play the Pittsburgh Warriors in an exhibition contest at the Wells Fargo Center, free for all fans to attend. Puck drop is set for 2:30 p.m. and Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan will announce the game. The Warriors will then compete in the USA Hockey Warrior Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, next month.

"Thank you for your service and thank you for embracing this opportunity," Marsh said to the Warriors team at Saturday's press conference. "It's been wonderful to work with you guys and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team is very proud to be associated with you guys."

And Marsh added: 

"Rick, thank you for making that first phone call — awesome."

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