Flyers

An Isaac Ratcliffe-Morgan Frost-Joel Farabee line, 'effortless' Philippe Myers, more on Flyers rookie camp

An Isaac Ratcliffe-Morgan Frost-Joel Farabee line, 'effortless' Philippe Myers, more on Flyers rookie camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — A nice crowd turned out at Flyers Skate Zone on Saturday morning to watch the team's prospects open rookie camp.

There's no shortage of talent in this year's group as the camp features seven roster candidates for the 2019-20 season.

Let's get into five observations:

1. Orange you happy?

A trio in orange had everyone's attention.

With the forwards wearing different colored jerseys to make up lines, Isaac Ratcliffe, Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee were put together. To no surprise, they stood out.

Last season, the 6-foot-6 Ratcliffe scored 50 goals with the OHL's Guelph Storm, the playmaking Frost amassed 109 points with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the do-it-all Farabee won national Rookie of the Year with Boston University.

All three are turning pro this season. And if all three start the year with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms will be a hot ticket for Flyers fans. In fact, fans will get a chance to see them Wednesday night at PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the rookie game against the Islanders.

I would have to say I don't know if we've had any forwards come in that have been at the level that some of the kids that we're getting this year.

- Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon

2. The big easy

Ratcliffe is big, but his skilled hands and soft touch for a player his size are what make him impressive. He can get up ice and make plays away from the net. Around the net, though, there's a lot to like when you combine the ability with his frame.

After practice, Ratcliffe worked on deflecting shots. He scored 91 goals in 132 regular-season games over his final two years of junior hockey.

You'd have to believe he has some power play in his future, very possibly this season with the Phantoms.

3. A maturing Myers

Philippe Myers looks like a full-time NHL player. The 22-year-old defenseman moves extremely well for his 6-foot-5 size, has a great stick and he's gained a ton of strength. During the 2018 training camp, he was listed at 202 pounds. Now, he's 218 pounds and it's noticeable.

His comfort level, you can tell this is nothing for him. He just goes out there and it's effortless and he's so sure of himself and confident. I thought he looked good.

- Gordon

General manager Chuck Fletcher promoted Myers in February as the Flyers were gaining relevancy in the playoff race. Myers ended up playing 21 meaningful games.

"It made me want to work that much harder this summer," he said. "I just want to be up here this year, I want to be a part of the team, I want to help the team win. I'm going to work hard at camp and I'm going to earn it.

"They told me that I should be chomping at the bit for this training camp. I want that, too, I want to be a top-four guy, have a bigger role on the team and help the team win. They basically told me that's what my goal should be and that's my goal."

4. Different mix

A group that skated hard and showed chemistry was Mikhail Vorobyev, Maksim Sushko and Egor Serdyuk.

Vorobyev is offensively talented and trying to work his way back to the Flyers, while the Lehigh Valley-bound Sushko brings nice speed and Serdyuk was a sixth-round pick this summer.

Serdyuk was not at development camp, so this is our first live look at the Victoriaville Tigres product.


5. Friedman update

Mark Friedman will not take part in rookie camp or the prospects game as he rests up from minor abdominal surgery.

The Flyers expect him ready for main training camp, which begins Sept. 13.

Friedman is a 23-year-old defenseman who made his NHL debut during Game 82 last season. He'll be entering his third season with the Phantoms.

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Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

On Saturday, we broke down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. Today, we look at the reasons for concern.

Alain Vigneault has 11 playoff berths on his résumé. He knows the requisites for a postseason club and the Flyers have failed to look like one in a key aspect.

"As a team that considers themselves a playoff team, you need to have a good road record," Vigneault said last month.

The Flyers do not through 25 road games. As stingy as they have been at home, they've been the polar opposite away from home. On the road, the Flyers are 10-13-2, have a minus-30 goal differential and are allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.80.

The figures above are a major concern and the Flyers must stem the tide over their final 16 road games. Vigneault's team still has two trips to Washington, D.C., two to Tampa Bay, Florida, two to Madison Square Garden and one more to Pittsburgh. Those matchups with the Capitals, Lightning, Rangers and Penguins will be stiff tests.

Speaking of the schedule, the Flyers are battling in the NHL's deepest division and have 14 games remaining against Metro teams. The Flyers are in sixth place of the Metropolitan Division (three points out of third place) but would be in first place of the Pacific Division.

The Flyers will be challenged the rest of the way and so, too, will their depth at forward. The Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack scoring club (15th in the NHL with 3.06 goals per game) and without Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Is the team's youth in the bottom six enough for the playoffs and a competitive shot? Or will (and can) general manager Chuck Fletcher add at the Feb. 24 trade deadline?

Big questions and we'll have answers soon.

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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