VOORHEES, N.J. — When you hear the name Briere around Philadelphia, it would make sense to think back to "Mr. Playoffs" himself, Danny Briere. But when the list of prospects was released just a few days prior to kicking off this year’s Flyers development camp, a different Briere caught everyone’s attention.
Carson Briere, one of three sons to the former Flyers' center, received an invitation to attend camp but his dad made it known right away that he had no influence on the decision.
“[Assistant general manager Brent Flahr] reached out to me and asked if Carson would be interested," Briere said Wednesday.
"It was out of the blue, I didn’t expect it. It was pretty cool for me, too, but I’m sure it was really special for him. He grew up here, he grew up with the Flyers. For him, I’m sure it’s special — a special time this week.”
More recently, Briere spent the majority of his past two seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks. While it took him a while to get the hang of things, once he found his groove, the 5-foot-9 19-year-old was nearly unstoppable.
His numbers speak for themselves as Briere led his team in points (44 goals, 45 assists) and had 20 more goals than the next-closest player on the team. His 89 points were good enough for second most in the entire NAHL.
A family affair for the Brieres
It’s safe to say that the hockey gene runs strongly within this family, considering all three brothers took up the sport that their dad made a career out of, but Carson Briere said that there was definitely added pressure when he was younger just because of the name across his back every time he hit the ice. However, once he got older, not worrying about it became the key to focusing on the sport itself.
Carson Briere didn’t hold back from speaking about some of his past struggles he had on certain teams, being cut from a few and feeling like he did not deserve to play on them. However, he showed a great deal of maturity with what he said next, acknowledging that he was aware of such issues and how he could have worked harder. He took the time to slim down and get in better shape, changing both his mentality and outlook on the game and becoming much more confident.
Regardless of the highs and lows of his hockey past, having someone who had gone through similar situations there to support him along the way was always beneficial for him.
“I’m definitely lucky to have him as a dad and guide me through my hockey career," Briere said. "It's definitely made it a lot easier for me.”
(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
So what’s next for Carson Briere?
“I’m just trying to get better, I’m taking it one day at a time," he said. "I don’t think there’s any pressure — if I don’t make it, I don’t make it. If I do, I do. I’m just trying have some fun and get better at hockey and have it translate from college and we’ll see from there.”
Briere is committed to Arizona State University, a Division I school where he will be able to advance his career even further.
Arizona State was always an enticing choice, considering he's from Scottsdale, Arizona — just one town over from where the school is located. While he never visited the campus in person, Briere was able to talk to his future Sun Devils coach Greg Powers a few times and the two had some great discussions. Since being from the area, Briere knew the kind of weather and atmosphere in Arizona, but his dad still sent him photos and videos of the campus just in case.
Briere was assigned No. 90 for development camp, but when asked about sporting or even requesting his dad’s old Flyers No. 48, he said: “Maybe in college — we’ll see.”
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.
More on the Flyers
Why Elliott is back, what could be next, prospect talk, more on Flyers
Fletcher, Flyers add a familiar face as player development coach
Frost toys with a few goalies, another Briere, York's Gritty quote, and more
Gordon talks decision to return, Flyers' staff and Provorov-Gostisbehere