Flyers

Flyers goalie prospect Carter Hart on development: 'Trust the process'

Flyers goalie prospect Carter Hart on development: 'Trust the process'

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- "You gotta trust the process."

Flashbacks to Sam Hinkie? A line from Joel Embiid's Twitter feed?

How about a direct quote from Carter Hart.

The Flyers' 18-year-old goaltending prospect spoke to the media extensively Wednesday after joining the Phantoms on Monday in preparations for their first-round playoff series against Hershey (see story)

"I think I got the sense that I'm just here to experience this area," Hart said. "I've never been to Lehigh Valley. It's nice to see the building, get to know the players, get to know the coaching staff, take it all in and learn from the pros."

Hart joins the Phantoms after his major junior team Everett Silvertips were bounced in the second round of the WHL playoffs. In three seasons in the Canadian Hockey League, Hart has compiled an impressive résumé -- an 85-40-12 record with 19 shutouts, a 2.13 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. He was named CHL Goaltender of the Year in 2016 and was a member of Team Canada's silver medal-winning team at the 2017 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

"Great things take time," Hart said. "It's a long process. You just have to stick to the grind every day and just worry about getting better. I know that's one of the big things Philly believes in, and just worry about getting better every day."

Unless the Phantoms enter crisis mode, Hart doesn't expect to play in the AHL postseason, but he's already grabbed the attention of the team's starter Alex Lyon.

"He's a great guy," Lyon said. "Carter is the same height (6-foot-1) as I am, and he's so physically gifted. I can learn so much from him."

"One of the things you can definitely tell that's in his game is structure," Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon said. "Clearly the structure is in Carter's game, where more times than not the puck will hit him and he'll have the appropriate response after the save is made to make the next save, and that will continue to be a strength of his."

Along with talent, there's a maturity that instantly comes across when talking with the teenager from Sherwood Park, Alberta. He has a familiarity with the Flyers' organization and has studied the trajectories of other great netminders in the NHL.

"One of my favorite goalies is Carey Price and I also like Braden Holtby, as well, and they've both taken different routes to the NHL," Hart said. "Both are some of the great goalies in the league. Holtby came in a little later and Price was thrown in as a 20-year-old. … The Flyers have had a lot of good prospects the past few years. To see a couple of guys like (Travis) Konecny and (Ivan) Provorov jump in as 19-year-olds is something pretty special. You don't see too many guys doing that. It shows how much they value their young prospects and how much they care about their development."

Obviously, the Flyers thought enough of Hart to make him the first goaltender selected in the 2016 NHL draft, and during the team's development camp, general manager Ron Hextall couldn't help but praise his second-round pick.

"Quite honestly, it's almost hard for me to relay that a 17-year-old understands what he's got to do to become a pro and hopefully an NHL goalie one day," Hextall said. "Typically, kids are 20, 21, 22 before they realize, 'You know what? I gotta get better.' He's impressive."

Since Hart won't turn 19 until August, he has just two options for next season -- return to his WHL team for a fourth year or join the Flyers as a rookie much like Provorov and Konecny did. Hart said he's fine either way because he's come to accept the Philly way.

Just trust the process.

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

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

The Flyers on Thursday night will look to avoid a season-worst fifth straight loss.

So far, they've lost four consecutive games twice. To avoid topping that, the Flyers (10-7-4) must beat the Hurricanes (13-7-1) on the road.

Let's get into the essentials:

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

• Alain Vigneault is trying everything and anything to spark his veterans.

On Monday, Vigneault said, “Whoever we’ve played with Coots has played well."

The Flyers' head coach is so desperate to get Jakub Voracek going that he's moving the winger to Sean Couturier's line with Oskar Lindblom.

After Vigneault put Voracek, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk together at the start of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Panthers, the trio has been split up, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher. Hayes will center Joel Farabee and Tyler Pitlick, while van Riemsdyk heads to the fourth line with Michael Raffl and Andy Andreoff.

Will all of this work? At this point, the Flyers have to give it a shot. During the team's four-game losing streak, Claude Giroux, Voracek, Hayes and van Riemsdyk have combined for one goal and two assists.

"I expect more from James, I expect more from Kevin, I expect more from Jake as far as 5-on-5 play," Vigneault said Monday. "You’d ask those guys, they’d tell you the same thing. They need to be better for our team to get into the playoffs and we’re aware of that."

• The Flyers are scoring 2.18 goals per game on the road, fourth fewest in the NHL, while the power play is 4 for 37 (10.8 percent) away from home.

• The Hurricanes are scoring four goals per game at home, tied for the second most in the NHL. Carolina has won four straight contests, a stretch in which it has scored 5.25 goals per game.

• Outside of Ivan Provorov (three points), Flyers defensemen have scored three points during the Flyers' four-game skid.

• Just how valuable have Travis Konecny and Lindblom been to the Flyers this season?

The team is 0-3-3 when Konecny goes scoreless and 2-5-1 when Lindblom goes scoreless.

The two have gone scoreless in the same game only twice this season.

Projected lineup

Forwards

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

Defensemen

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

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

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Flyers mascot Gritty surprises patients at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Flyers mascot Gritty surprises patients at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Gritty and the Flyers' ice team brought smiles to the faces of patients on the oncology floor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

It was an awesome surprise Wednesday as the Flyers provided Love Your Melon hats and tickets to the team's Hockey Fights Cancer game on Nov. 25 against the Canucks.

Gritty and company took pictures, handed out gifts and, most importantly, gave the kids a fun day (which you can watch in the video above, with footage courtesy of the Flyers).

The Flyers truly do wonderful work in the community and so does the NHL with its Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.

(AP Images/Matt Slocum)

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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