Flyers

Ready for Flyers' roster? Play the wing? Morgan Frost will have chance to answer

Ready for Flyers' roster? Play the wing? Morgan Frost will have chance to answer

The Flyers played eight preseason games last year.

Morgan Frost appeared in just one.

At best, the 2017 first-round pick held an outside chance to win a roster spot. With only one game to work with, in actuality, Frost never had a shot. From the outset, he appeared destined for his fourth and final junior hockey season instead of the Flyers' lineup.

"I mean, I got to play in the one exhibition game," Frost said last month at development camp. "I didn't really get to do as much as I could, but I think I was just getting my feet wet. It would have been nice to play another game or two and kind of really get to show [myself]. It's always tough when you kind of jump into a one-game situation like that. Hopefully this year I'll get some more games to prove myself and take it from there."

This fall, it'll be a whole new ballgame.

Frost should have a more realistic fight for the Flyers.

"I'd like to think so, yeah," Frost said.

"I think your chances when you're this young get better every year because you turn into a better player and you know what to expect when you're in camp."

At development camp, Frost hit on plenty of good points when discussing 2019-20.

He's a year older, which always helps. That fact also means he's now ready for pro hockey, whether it's the Flyers or AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Another important note: Frost will be playing in front of a new coaching staff and general manager this time around. Having to win over a new regime can be seen as a challenge, but it's also an opportunity.

I don't think it changes the way that I approach things or how I play or carry myself, but it's a new staff — they're going to have open eyes and a fresh look. Just continue to do me and I'm not going to try to change anything.

- Frost

In 2018-19, Frost experienced another dominant year. The dizzying playmaker torched the OHL again by scoring 109 points (37 goals, 72 assists) with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Over his final two OHL seasons, the 20-year-old center put up 221 points (79 goals, 142 assists) and a plus-103 rating in 125 regular-season games. On top of that, he dazzled through the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship with four goals and four assists in five games for Team Canada, which lost in the quarterfinals.

"What they always said is that when you're playing in a medal round or a gold-medal game, it's almost like an AHL playoff game — that's the pace that it's in," Frost said. "It's definitely a lot quicker than the OHL and you're playing against all elite players that are around my age. That was probably the best experience I've ever had playing hockey. It was a lot of fun, it was too bad we didn't do better."

The experience should help Frost's transition to the pro level. Once again, he'll head into training camp with added weight; he's around 187 pounds and his goal is 190. 

"You can see the way he thinks the game and sees the ice — he can make plays," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "Whether he's ready physically to handle the rigors of the NHL, training camp will dictate that."

He'll also head into camp with a third-line job up for grabs. That vacancy appears to be on the wing, not at Frost's natural position. However, Frost said he played winger in world juniors and at times during the OHL season alongside 2018 fifth overall pick Barrett Hayton.

"I've played wing before," Frost said. "It's definitely not my strong suit right now, but I can definitely adjust to that."

This year, the Flyers have seven preseason games. What will Frost try to prove?

"Just that I belong," he said. "You have to do stuff to stick out but at the same time, you want to blend in with the better players. Just try to do everything I can to make an impression."

Frost should expect more than one game — and he'll know to make them count.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Oskar Lindblom.

Destra

If I had the opportunity to list all of the qualities that make Lindblom the wonderful player and person he is, I’d probably be here until the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a season that started off looking so bright for the 23-year-old, his world, along with Flyers fans', were turned upside down when the team released a statement in December — that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. 

My heart broke with the news, but I knew he was going to be strong through it all. I thought seeing him back on the ice at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, a few weeks ago would’ve been the best news of 2020 — but the video of Lindblom ringing the bell, indicating that he finished his treatments, topped it tenfold.

Lindblom embodies strength, resilience and a sense of hope. He’s loved by his teammates and fans in Philadelphia — the support they have given through it all never went unnoticed. While there isn’t a definite timeline on his return, what a moment it will be when he dresses for a game once more. When that time does come, it’ll be one for the books. 

A+ for the strongest player on the Flyers this season. 

Fordyce 

Let’s start with the beginning of the season. On the ice, Lindblom was one of the best Flyers in the early going with 11 goals in 30 games and projected to surpass his career high with flying colors, but this is not Lindblom's story this season.

In mid-December, the Flyers announced that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that forms in the bones or tissue surrounding the bones. Lindblom began battling the disease, while still being around the team from time to time.

Lindblom’s diagnosis also touched off the “Oskar Strong” campaign around the NHL with players from teams throughout the league wearing Oskar Strong T-shirts. This included the Flyers' heated rivals like the Penguins and Devils proving that hockey is, indeed, a family regardless of the sweater you wear.

Lindblom has since finished his treatments, receiving a standing ovation when leaving the hospital on the last day, and he’s recently been seen skating with Flyers players at the practice facility. 

A+ on and especially off the ice for Lindblom.

Hall

It's truly astounding to see the impact Lindblom had on the Flyers' 2019-20 regular season.

Not only was Lindblom one of the team's best forwards and projected to finish with 30 goals before being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in mid-December, but his courageous fight and bright smile also constantly uplifted the Flyers. He made this team better from Day 1 and still found a way to make it better while battling cancer at 23 years old.

Whenever Lindblom was able to visit the Flyers, his teammates were genuinely blown away by his strength, smile and selflessness through the circumstances. It was no coincidence that after seeing Lindblom at the Wells Fargo Center in December, the Flyers answered their lowest point of the season with four straight wins.

"He’s still like the same person, you can’t really tell what he’s going through," Robert Hagg said in March. "Nothing bothers him."

"He brings everyone into a happier place," Kevin Hayes said in March. "If you’re having a bad day, you don’t have a bad day anymore when you see Oskar."

"Oh, it’s awesome. His smile, you know, he’s just a great guy to have around," Justin Braun said in February. "He brightens your day."

Those words say it all. A+ for Lindblom and how he has impacted so many.

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Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

The Flyers seem to always know what they're going to get from Scott Laughton.

Finding his niche in the NHL as a tireless, team-oriented role forward, Laughton on Tuesday was named the recipient of the Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award, an honor that is given to the Flyer deemed to show character, dignity and respect on and off the ice as voted by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Laughton scored a personal-best 13 goals this season despite playing 33 fewer games than he did in a career year during 2018-19. Staples of his game: constantly skating hard, forechecking, killing penalties, playing different positions and standing up for teammates. Remember the Senators game?

A 2012 first-round pick of the organization who has played parts of seven seasons for the Flyers, Laughton is always classy, professional and accessible in his dealings with media members and fans.

"It's very special for me to be awarded this by our media," Laughton said in a statement released by the Flyers. "Throughout the year I try and bring positive energy to the rink and do all the little things to be a good teammate and representative of the organization. Getting more involved in the community has been important to me and I hope to continue to build on that each year."

The Flyers are handing out their annual team awards throughout this week. Kevin Hayes was the recipient of the Gene Hart Memorial Award. Below is the schedule for the remaining honors:

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