Flyers

How Joel Farabee separates himself and can 'take somebody's job away' with Flyers

How Joel Farabee separates himself and can 'take somebody's job away' with Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Joel Farabee is as offensively talented as any prospect in the Flyers' farm system.

The 2018 first-round pick can score in a variety of ways, whether it's making a play in open ice or deceiving a goalie in close. His all-around game of speed and skill has him nearing the Flyers at just 19 years old.

That offensive ability is what many are giddy about. It's his ticket to the NHL … right?

Well, Farabee is pretty smart. The winger knows his quickest climb to the Flyers would be snatching a bottom-six role and taking on some not-so-glamorous responsibilities.

He's aware of the Flyers' job opening and its qualifications.

"Honestly, I think by the end of my career, I'll be more of a PK guy rather than a power play guy," Farabee said Tuesday at Flyers rookie camp. "I think the game really well, so I think that helps on the PK. If I can play power play, too, that would be awesome. My strengths are when I can outthink guys, so if you can use me that way, I think that's when I play my best."

It's not all too common to hear a first-round forward gush about his PK prowess. Farabee, though, truly embraces his versatility. He battles along the boards, works hard on the forecheck and thrives on beating opponents to the puck.

With training camp set to begin Friday, the Flyers have a vacancy on their third line. They have plenty of guys that can fill the power play. Their top six is crowded. But a bottom-six role and some potential penalty kill minutes are up for grabs.

Farabee clearly knows.

"I think the game really well, so I kind of know where guys are behind me and what plays they're trying to make, so I think that helps me on my forecheck and where I can break up plays," he said. "I take a lot pride in that part my game.

"I think one of my strengths as a player is being able to play all different kinds of roles. I think I can play top six and I think I can also play bottom six. I think that really helps me out trying to get to the next level when spots are open."

Among the country's freshmen last season, the one-and-done Boston University product finished tied for second in goals with 17 — three of which were shorthanded.

AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley head coach Scott Gordon liked Farabee's mindset.

"If I'm a player and you go through college and junior, you can be the best power play guy — at the end of the day, you join an organization as a rookie, you have to take somebody's job away," Gordon said. "They're not going to hand it to you. You have to really show something that separates yourself from the other guys that are on the power play.

"I look at the options that the Flyers have, good on him to be able to say, 'You know what, the reality is, I might not be able to play on the power play, so how can I get my minutes?' 

"Any player that starts his career in the minors, I think — whether he's an offensive player or not — he should have the mindset to want to be a good bottom-six guy in the American League. It doesn't mean that you don't play offense, but do all the things that a bottom-six guy in the NHL does, whether it's being good defensively, maybe it's a matchup, maybe it's killing penalties, whatever it might be — to give yourself an opportunity to keep you in the lineup because of your versatility."

Like it is with any job, the more you can do, the better.

And Farabee gets that.

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With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

Updated: 2:13 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Mikhail Vorobyev, and the Flyers, are hoping a third time is the charm.

The 2015 fourth-round pick has been recalled on three occasions this season, with the most recent call-up coming Wednesday. With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger suffered Tuesday night, Vorobyev is back and could center the Flyers' fourth line.

Raffl was placed on long-term injured reserve.

Vorobyev, a 22-year-old center with skill and penalty kill ability, has played six games with the Flyers this season. Down in Lehigh Valley with the AHL affiliate Phantoms, Vorobyev had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through 19 games.

The Flyers will want to see him show consistent effort in limited minutes. That will have to be evident if he's going to stick in Raffl's absence.

“Misha, originally when he got here, I thought I liked the way he was playing, his energy," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Nov. 6. "It slipped a little bit."

Vigneault said Wednesday after practice that the Flyers may play 11 forwards and seven defensemen Thursday when they host the Coyotes (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), while 19-year-old rookie Joel Farabee will likely jump into the penalty kill rotation.

The Flyers have significantly improved their goal prevention and Raffl has always been a key piece to their defensive focus. His injury comes a week and a half after Scott Laughton, another important role forward, returned following a 13-game absence from a broken finger.

"It sucks, kind of a similar injury to mine with the finger, but just a sh---y scenario and a sh---y play," Laughton said of Raffl's injury. "It sucks, for sure, but guys are going to have to step up — that's what you have to do and that's what guys did when I was out.

"It definitely sucks to lose him on the ice, but off the ice, as well. He's huge for this group, for the young guys."

The Flyers are allowing 74 goals in 28 games after permitting 101 goals over 28 games last season. During their season-best five-game winning streak, the Flyers have surrendered 1.60 goals per game.

Raffl is one of the team's better puck possession forwards who helps control pace and has played the Flyers' third-most shorthanded minutes among forwards.

Vorobyev will get the first chance to fill the void.

 

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Flyers erupt for 5 late goals, are NHL's best since Nov. 1 (but lose Michael Raffl to injury)

Flyers erupt for 5 late goals, are NHL's best since Nov. 1 (but lose Michael Raffl to injury)

Updated: 10:07 p.m.

BOX SCORE

After an NHL-best November, the Flyers picked up their season-best fifth straight win to kick off December with a 6-1 decision Tuesday night over the Maple Leafs at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers turned a defensive game into a laugher with five goals over the final 10 minutes of regulation. Claude Giroux scored the game-winner midway through the final frame before Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee, Shayne Gostisbehere and James van Riemsdyk followed suit (see highlights).

The Flyers (16-7-5) have allowed only 1.60 goals per game during their winning streak. Since Nov. 1, they are 11-2-4 with 26 points and a plus-15 goal differential. No NHL team has more points over that stretch.

The Maple Leafs (13-12-4), a top-10 goal-scoring club, had won four of their previous five games since firing head coach Mike Babcock.

• Great response from the Flyers after Carter Hart allowed a flukey game-tying goal in the third period.

Philippe Myers and Konecny made great plays to set up Giroux's goal. The floodgates then opened.

Konecny has 17 assists and will shatter his career high of 25 set last season. Myers added another assist to spring Konecny as the Flyers put the game on ice with a 3-1 lead that ballooned even more.

• Hart, who went 6-2-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in November, converted 27 stops.

Hart delivered a huge first period in which he made 15 saves as the Maple Leafs looked faster and more dangerous.

Amazing what consistent goaltending can do for a team. The Flyers have gotten it from Hart and Brian Elliott thus far.

• Fourth-line center Michael Raffl was not on the bench during the third period, playing just six minutes overall. After the game, head coach Alain Vigneault said Raffl suffered a broken right pinkie finger and is expected to miss around a month (see story).

The 31-year-old is one of the Flyers' better puck possession and penalty kill forwards.

• More and more, Kevin Hayes is starting to show how he can dominate a shift with his size.

The big-bodied puck protection is an area in which the 6-foot-5 center excels and he put it on display to create the game-opening goal in the second period.

Scott Laughton, who finished the play, has three goals in the last four games.

The Flyers are 9-2-1 when Hayes records a point. He has seven points (four goals, three assists) and a plus-5 rating over the past eight games.

• Competition is hot between Myers, Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg, who are in a rotation for playing time.

Myers was excellent with three assists and a plus-3 mark.

Gostisbehere was as noticeable and active as he's been this season. His elusiveness drew a penalty during the second period, giving the Flyers their first power play opportunity. The Flyers went on the man advantage again not long after as they controlled the final eight minutes of the middle stanza while holding a 1-0 lead.

If Gostisbehere (one goal, one assist, plus-3) can make that type of impact consistently, he'll take himself out of that rotation. The same goes for Myers.

• The Flyers continue their three-game homestand Thursday when they host the Coyotes (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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