Flyers

Think Joel Farabee is motivated? Flyers prospect scores nasty goal to kick off pro career with Phantoms

Think Joel Farabee is motivated? Flyers prospect scores nasty goal to kick off pro career with Phantoms

Joel Farabee wasn't able to score during the preseason as he auditioned for the Flyers.

He had chances, he rung posts, he showed his skill, he played with max effort, but production often wins jobs and the 19-year-old couldn't deliver in that facet.

It may have cost him a spot in the Flyers' 2019-20 season-opening lineup.

Think that was on his mind a little bit as he began his pro career Friday night with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley?

In the Phantoms' 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at PPL Center, Farabee scored a nasty goal off a spectacular stretch pass from Philippe Myers.

That's a glimpse of Farabee's skill. The winger is a strategic finisher and he's going to put up points in Lehigh Valley. He played on the Phantoms' top line Friday with Cal O’Reilly (point-per-game player in the AHL last season) and Greg Carey (career-high 61 points in Lehigh Valley last season).

Connor Bunnaman and Carsen Twarynski, both 21-year-old rookies, earned their spots with the Flyers, who were also tight on the cap and had fourth-line winger Tyler Pitlick return just in time for the season opener. It all played into head coach Alain Vigneault and the Flyers surprising themselves by not opening the 2019-20 season with Farabee in the lineup.

"I had mentioned that there were also going to be some cap decisions that were going to come into effect," Vigneault said Tuesday. "Pitlick coming back in permitted us to not dress seven D but six and four lines. And at the end of the day, I thought Joel had a real good camp other than being able to get on the score sheet, but the chances and effort were there.

"But I thought both other young kids, Bunny and T, were just a little bit more effective in what we needed going forward. I had a good talk with Joel up in Europe about if he goes to Lehigh Valley with the right mindset, the right work ethic, the willingness to get better and get his game to where it needs to be, there's no doubt in my mind that at some point, if he plays well there, we'll probably see him back here."

Dazzling and dangling, Farabee started that push Friday night.

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Flyers at Panthers: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Panthers: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

It's time for Morgan Frost.

The 20-year-old center will make his highly anticipated NHL debut Tuesday when the Flyers (10-6-4) visit the Panthers (10-5-5).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: BB&T Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Following the Flyers' third-period collapse in which they blew a 3-0 lead to the Islanders Saturday, head coach Alain Vigneault didn't seem overly angry or perplexed.

It's probably because he easily identified what led to the Flyers' 4-3 shootout loss. As jarring as that defeat was for the Flyers in front of the home fans, Vigneault wasn't concerned on Monday about any problematic trend.

Coming off that last game, I’ve looked at the game, I’ve analyzed it. Even though it’s our third game in four nights, we’re in good shape. We made three bad changes that changed the whole dynamic, the whole complexion of that game. It’s something that is very fixable, very easy, it doesn’t worry me at all.

If that's the case, the Flyers should start wrapping up third-period leads, something they haven't done of late and it has been costly.

• What makes Frost's debut even more exciting is where the Flyers are placing the 2017 first-round pick in the lineup. He will center the first line between Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny.

It couldn't be a better chance to show what we can do. Right now, the entire lineup needs Frost's impact and his play could dictate how long this call-up lasts with the big club

• Philippe Myers was surprisingly scratched last Saturday. After a real promising seven games, the Flyers were not happy with the 22-year-old's performance last Friday during a 2-1 loss to the Senators in which he played only 14:12 minutes.

The Flyers love his upside but want to see him be consistently smarter.

“He could have been responsible for nine scoring chances against with some of those turnovers," Vigneault said Monday. "Not everybody played great, but that was one above. Sometimes it’s just a reset. Phil is going to get back in there, maybe [Tuesday], reset. He has an opportunity, we’ve watched some tape with him, he’s a good young player. We’ve got a lot of belief that he can be a regular, a good player in this league."

• The Panthers are scoring 3.55 goals per game, fifth best in the NHL, but are also allowing 3.55 goals per game, fourth worst in the league.

Florida will test the Flyers in the third period as it has scored the NHL's second-most goals in the final frame with 29.

Sergei Bobrovsky is not off to the best start in South Florida at 7-4-4 with a 3.53 goals-against average and .882 save percentage. The two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender signed a seven-year, $70 million contract on July 1.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Andy Andreoff-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

 

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Future Flyers Report: Wisconsin's Wyatt Kalynuk one of four prospects to watch in Big Ten

Future Flyers Report: Wisconsin's Wyatt Kalynuk one of four prospects to watch in Big Ten

It’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• The Flyers have some exciting young defensemen at the pro level. They also have some at the college and junior ranks.

Two that have received a lot of attention are Cam York and Egor Zamula. York was the Flyers' first-round pick this summer and is in his freshman year at Michigan, while Zamula is a near-point-per-game 19-year-old playing for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen.

Another defenseman to keep tabs on his Wyatt Kalynuk, who the Flyers selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. The junior at Wisconsin had a goal, eight shots and seven blocked shots over two games against Notre Dame last weekend.

The 16th-ranked Badgers sport exciting underclassmen with Cole Caufield (2019 top-15 pick), Alex Turcotte (2019 top-five pick) and K'Andre Miller (2018 top-25 pick).

“The goal is to win a national championship," Kalynuk said this summer at Flyers development camp.

Kalynuk is a huge piece for Wisconsin. The 22-year-old has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) through 12 games.

"Probably my biggest strength is skating," Kalynuk said. "At Wisconsin, getting bigger, stronger and faster just improves it even more.

“I would consider myself a late bloomer, but it’s not a knock on me or anybody."

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher checked out the Badgers last season in February. Wisconsin was playing Flyers prospect Tanner Laczynski and Ohio State. With Kalynuk, Laczynski, York and Bryce Brodzinski (2019 seventh-round pick at Minnesota), the Flyers will be watching plenty of Big Ten hockey this season.

Quick hits

• Goalie Kirill Ustimenko, a 2017 third-round pick, had a 32-save shutout for the ECHL's Reading Royals in a 1-0 win last Saturday over the Wheeling Nailers. The 20-year-old has a 2.57 goals-against average in 10 games (six wins).

• Isaac Ratcliffe has missed the Phantoms' last three games with an injury. The 2017 second-round pick is transitioning to the pro level with three points (one goal, two assists) in 12 games.

• Noah Cates scored his team-leading fifth goal in Minnesota Duluth's 3-2 win Saturday over Miami (Ohio). The 2017 fifth-round pick is a sophomore on the country's ninth-ranked team.

"We talk about him every day and we can't stop bragging about him," Flyers player development coach Kjell Samuelsson said this summer.

• Jay O'Brien, a 2018 first-round pick, is second in the BCHL with 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) through 26 games for the Penticton Vees.

• Wyatte Wylie, another defenseman to watch, is a point-per-game player right now with five goals and 14 assists in 19 contests for the WHL's Everett Silvertips.

 

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