Flyers

Nate Thompson on Flyers: 'For years to come, they're going to be very, very good'

Nate Thompson on Flyers: 'For years to come, they're going to be very, very good'

Before arriving to the Flyers at the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Nate Thompson had played for seven teams over 13 years in the NHL.

Some pretty good teams, too. Thompson made the 2011 Eastern Conference Final with the Lightning, who had Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. He went to the 2017 Western Conference Final with the Ducks and played 36 postseason games through three seasons for Anaheim. Overall, he has 62 playoff appearances on his résumé.

With the Flyers, Thompson played seven games before the NHL was forced to suspend the season because of the coronavirus outbreak. He joined the club when it was on a three-game winning streak and helped it stretch the run to nine straight victories before the Flyers lost to the Bruins in their final matchup ahead of the pause.

A 35-year-old veteran like Thompson made a seamless transition into the Flyers' locker room. It also took him only seven games to see that the Flyers were a contender starting to awake.

And not just built for this season.

"It's definitely an organization, not just this year, but I think for years to come, they're going to be very, very good," Thompson said as a guest on Sportsnet's latest 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman published Wednesday. "They're definitely going to have a chance. It was a lot of fun, especially at this point in my career, to be a part of something like that. Unfortunately with what happened, we got paused, but hopefully we can get back to that, get back to playing and have a chance to win this year."

There's a good chance 2019-20 will be Thompson's only season in Philadelphia as he's set to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason, so this shot means a lot for him. He knows if Flyers fans are feeling frustrated with the current run being put in jeopardy, they should at least take solace in the fact that the team looks pretty well constructed for the immediate future.

The club's defense is young, deepening and will have at least one more year of Matt Niskanen. The group of forwards has vets still experiencing some of their best years, Travis Konecny blossoming into an All-Star and prospects like Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost getting their feet wet. That's not to mention Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom being out and still in the picture, of course, moving forward. And the Flyers have their 21-year-old franchise goalie just getting started.

"When you have a guy like Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, these guys, they lead by example on and off the ice," Thompson said. "You can see their habits, you see the way Couturier plays, everyone kind of just follows his lead. And then you have some good young players and a goalie like Carter Hart, who I think the sky's the limit for him, kid's a stud."

Couple that with head coach Alain Vigneault, who has gone twice to the Stanley Cup Final, and Thompson believes there should be excitement in Philadelphia.

"Everyone always asked me when I got there, 'Oh, how's Philly?' I'm like, 'Well, it's great, we've won nine in a row, it's hard not to love it here,'" Thompson said. "It was a lot of fun to be a part of, they have a great group of guys in the locker room. I know you can say that for a lot of teams, but you can really tell how much the guys care and how much fun they have — and you can see it. When I got there, I think they won three, four in a row and almost didn't feel like they won that many in a row. It was kind of just come to the rink the next day, reset, have fun, work hard, go about your business and on to the next game and expect to win it."

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Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Chris Osmond, the Flyers' head of strength and conditioning.

From Osmond's insight on the Flyers' fitness to our analysis on prospects/awards, let's dive in:

1:00 — Which defenseman will climb the fastest to the Flyers — Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie, Linus Hogberg or Wyatt Kalynuk?

7:05 — Osmond discusses the Flyers' daily questionnaire with players

9:40 — Ivan Provorov has a unique style of working out

11:45 — The big adjustments Osmond has had to make with players in quarantine

15:45 — What will be the toughest challenge for the Flyers leading up to a possible resumption?

• 17:25 — The importance of a good diet for Carter Hart and the team

• 19:00 — "None of us have been through this" 

20:10 — Osmond loves the Flyers' victory song

24:50 — Is Sean Couturier the Selke Trophy winner?

29:20 — Who is Alain Vigneault's biggest competition for the Jack Adams Award?

40:00 — Which former Flyer would we pick to be our favorite teammate?

• 45:15 — A taste of the "Marathon on Ice"

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Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Two days after signing one of their 2016 draft picks to an entry-level contract, the Flyers lost the rights to a prospect from the same class.

The club opted to not sign David Bernhardt before Monday's 5 p.m. deadline. As a result, the 22-year-old Swedish defenseman has become a draft-related unrestricted free agent.

Bernhardt was a 2016 seventh-round draft pick of the Flyers, when Ron Hextall was general manager and Chris Pryor was director of player personnel. Linus Hogberg, another blueliner from Sweden who was taken by the Flyers in the fifth round of the same draft, inked his ELC on Saturday.

The Flyers' decision to let Bernhardt's rights expire is not considered surprising. Below the pro surface, the club is pretty well-stocked at defensemen with prospects Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie and Hogberg set to join AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in 2020-21, while the signing of Wisconsin product Wyatt Kalynuk could be around the corner. Kalynuk is an offensive-minded defenseman who has developed a ton with the Badgers. His rights were set to expire next summer. Now that it appears he will forgo his senior season at Wisconsin, it would be surprising if he's not signed soon by the Flyers. If, for some reason, both sides don't agree to terms, Kalynuk can eventually become a free agent.

Furthermore, the Flyers have unsigned blueliners Cam York, Mason Millman, Adam Ginning, Ronald Attard and John St. Ivany in the system. York, a 2019 first-round pick at Michigan, is the most touted, while Millman, a 2019 fourth-round selection, is coming off a 44-point, plus-31 junior season with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.

Bernhardt, a 6-foot-3, 203-pound, lefty-shot defenseman, had seven points (one goal, six assists) through 33 games in the Finland pro league Liiga after opening 2019-20 in the SHL.

Here's a look at the Flyers' 10-player 2016 draft class:

First round — German Rubtsov (Flyers/Phantoms)
Second round — Pascal Laberge (Phantoms/Royals) 
Second round — Carter Hart (Flyers)
Second round — Wade Allison (Phantoms) 
Third round — Carsen Twarynski (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fourth round — Connor Bunnaman (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fifth round — Linus Hogberg (Phantoms)
Sixth round — Tanner Laczynski (Phantoms) 
Sixth round — Anthony Salinitri (no longer in organization)
Seventh round — David Bernhardt (no longer in organization)

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