Flyers

5 observations from Flyers development camp

5 observations from Flyers development camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — When Flyers development camp shifts to joint competition between the forwards, defensemen and goalies, everything ramps up.

There's a lot more to watch and a greater feel for the prospects.

That was the case Saturday night at Flyers Skate Zone on Day 3 of the 2018 camp.

Let's get into five observations from the moments that stuck out:

1. Morgan Frost possesses limitless skill. He's a quick skater, incredible with his stick and doesn't need open space to do damage.

Frost, the Flyers' other 2017 first-round pick, has shown the ability to fend off bigger bodies and a strong forecheck. Plus, he's so elusive that sometimes it doesn't matter.

If Frost had Nolan Patrick's size (6-2/198), he'd be in the NHL. But Frost is gaining strength, which is a great sign. Last year, he was 172 pounds at development camp. This year, he looks more filled out and said he came to Voorhees at 184 (see story).

He's not lacking in many other areas. Could he surprise at training camp and flirt with a roster spot? We'll see; the odds look against him.

But when Saturday's session concluded, he gave fans in attendance a taste of his offensive repertoire by beating goalie Matej Tomek with a handful of moves. 

You can see why he scored 112 points in the OHL last season.

2. Philippe Myers reminds you of Travis Sanheim at 2017 development camp.

He stands out among the defensemen because he's further along.

At 21 years old, Myers is composed and comfortable along the boards and he moves the puck well. 

For a guy his size, he has some nice skill, too.

Myers is 6-foot-5 and his weight is now up to around 220 pounds. He'll have a good shot to make the Flyers at some point during the 2018-19 season as a call-up candidate if he can stay healthy and prove himself some more at the AHL level.

3. Joel Farabee, the 14th overall pick in last week's draft, has an impressive makeup.

For one, the two-way winger competes and has a maturity about him at 18 years old (see story).

But he also offers all the offensive tools. The USNTDP product has excellent awareness and instincts to go along with his well-regarded shot.

He'll be fun to follow next season at Boston University.

4. A quietly impressive defenseman? Wyatt Kalynuk, a 2017 seventh-round pick who is playing at Wisconsin.

He's sound and stays in front of forwards that are much quicker and smaller. On multiple occasions in 1-on-1 drills, he broke up plays with a poke check, not even allowing the forwards to move in deep or get off a shot.

Two of those occasions were against Farabee and another he defended well against 2016 first-round pick German Rubtsov.

5. If you attend development camp Sunday or Monday, keep an eye on No. 59.

That's defenseman Mark Friedman, who has a rugged, all-out, beat-you-up style. It seemed like he was knocking somebody over every other drill.

If you like the physical brand of hockey, the Phantoms' blueliner is the player to watch at this camp.

And speaking of Sunday here is the schedule and groupings.

Group 1: 9:15-10:30

(G) 67 Kirill Ustimenko
(G) 65 Ivan Fedotov
(G) 66 Samuel Ersson
(D) 61 Philippe Myers
(D) 86 Wyatte Wylie
(D) 72 David Drake
(D) 84 Linus Hogberg
(D) 74 Adam Ginning
(F) 46 Mikhail Vorobyev
(F) 58 Gavin Hain
(F) 62 Jay O'Brien
(F) 64 Maksim Sushko
(F) 70 Olle Lycksell
(F) 75 Pascal Laberge
(F) 78 Matthew Strome

Group 2: 10:45-12:00

(G) 49 Felix Sandstrom
(G) 79 Carter Hart
(G) 69 Matej Tomek
(D) 59 Mark Friedman
(D) 90 Jack St. Ivany
(D) 77 James De Haas
(D) 73 Wyatt Kalynuk
(D) 83 David Bernhardt
(F) 57 Marcus Westfalt
(F) 60 Joel Farabee
(F) 63 German Rubtsov
(F) 68 Morgan Frost
(F) 71 Noah Cates
(F) 71 Isaac Ratcliffe
(F) 81 Carsen Twarynski

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Ice cream and a memory vs. Carey Price remind us Carter Hart is just a kid ... but ready for the moment

Ice cream and a memory vs. Carey Price remind us Carter Hart is just a kid ... but ready for the moment

When Carey Price was at his most dominant, winning the Vezina Trophy (top goalie) and Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) in 2014-15, Carter Hart was just 16 years old. 

The precocious but innocent kid had just begun molding his game at the junior hockey level with the WHL's Silvertips in Everett, Washington.

Price was at the sport's pinnacle.

"He was my favorite goalie growing up," Hart said.

On Wednesday, the night before his 22nd birthday, Hart found himself stretching next to Price at the center-ice line in front of the scorekeepers' bench.

There was Hart, on the same NHL stage as his idol, facing him in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL postseason is serious business, requiring the utmost competitiveness and focus. Hart, whose youthfulness often belies his maturity, fully understands the beast that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But the postseason makes for special moments and memories. NHL players all looked up to someone at some point. For Hart, he allowed himself to appreciate the storyline ahead.

"Definitely really cool," Hart said last Sunday about the upcoming best-of-seven first-round matchup with Price's Canadiens. "Just had the chance to actually meet him the other week and talk with him for the first time, so that was something pretty cool. For your first playoff series, playing against Carey Price will definitely be a lot of fun; I look forward to it."

Price, who turns 33 years old on Sunday, was unable to spoil the youngster's birthday. By midnight, Hart and the top-seeded Flyers had a 1-0 series lead after earning a hard-fought 2-1 victory over eighth-seeded Montreal. Hart is 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .966 save percentage through three games in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

On the ice, the Flyers were able to celebrate around Hart after he turned away 27 of 28 shots, with 16 of those saves coming in the second period when the Flyers really needed him.

Off the ice, they made sure to celebrate Hart's birthday a little early, making the best of the circumstances in the Eastern Conference's Toronto bubble.

“I think some guys got him some ice cream yesterday after the game and just sang him happy birthday," Shayne Gostisbehere said Thursday with a smile. "He’s been pretty good.”

“Let him do his thing,” Scott Laughton chimed in about Hart.

“Yeah, let him do his thing," Gostisbehere echoed.

After a short and sweet exchange with Price, Hart did his thing in Game 1.

“Just said hello quickly in warmups, good luck and it was just time to go play," Hart said.

If Hart continues to play the way he has this season and to start the tournament, he could remember the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs for much more than a memorable matchup with Price.

But there's a kid in everyone. Then again, Hart is only 22 years old.

"He’s a special kid," Derek Grant said last week. "He’s so calm. He puts his mask on, you don’t know how old he is."

With his mask off, Hart hopefully enjoyed a little ice cream and soaked in the moment.

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Canadiens head coach Claude Julien hospitalized with chest pain

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien hospitalized with chest pain

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien has been hospitalized because of chest pain, the team announced Thursday.

Julien is not expected to return to the bench for the Canadiens' best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Flyers. Assistant coach Kirk Muller will take over head coaching duties in the interim.

Julien was behind the bench leading Montreal in Game 1 Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Flyers beat the Canadiens, 2-1, while the series continues Friday with Game 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Here is a statement from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, via the team's official website:

Good afternoon. I'm here to inform you of the reason Claude Julien was not here this morning at practice. Claude experienced chest pain during the night. We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to transfer him to the hospital by ambulance. He's presently there and he's undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his condition. This has nothing to do with COVID.

We don't expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers. Kirk, Dominique [Ducharme] and Luke [Richardson] will share the responsibility, however, Kirk is the associate head coach and he will assume the responsibility of head coach until Claude's return.  

We understand that Kirk does not speak French, but these are exceptional circumstances and we're asking you for your understanding. Out of respect for Claude and his family, I will not answer any further questions about his medical condition.

The veteran coach led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011. The 60-year-old began his NHL head coaching career in Montreal and has been with the club for parts of seven seasons.

"There’s no doubt that there’s a deep bond and a deep respect because we know the jobs that we’re doing," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said about Julien before the series.

Vigneault, 59, also began his NHL head coaching career in Montreal. From 1981-83, Vigneault and Julien were teammates on the Central Hockey League's Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

"I didn't see him after the game," Vigneault said Thursday afternoon in a video interview following practice. "I've known Claude since I was 20, so we go way back, good friends. I'm going to reach out with him; I just found out the news, I want to say 20 minutes ago, just before jumping on the bus. I'm not aware of exactly what happened."

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

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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.

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