Isaac Ratcliffe

2019 Flyers development camp: Roster, schedule and more

2019 Flyers development camp: Roster, schedule and more

The future will be prevalent this week at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, starting Tuesday through Saturday as the team holds its annual development camp.

Some of the organization's brightest and newest prospects will be in attendance, learning the fine details of how to be a pro with various drills and off-ice training.

Let's get you set for the 2019 edition with five things to know.

1. Development, not evaluation

It's time for the annual reminder: Flyers development camp is about providing the team's prospects with proper training habits — on and off the ice — to grow as players. The five-day session is not about Flyers coaches and officials analyzing the prospects for the purpose of evaluation and future roster construction.

The whole premise of camp is for it to be educational.

2. Keep your eyes peeled

While the Flyers won't be evaluating, there will be plenty to watch for fans. With each development camp, there is always a ton of talent on the ice with many future pros and some prospects on the NHL doorstep.

For example, last summer's development camp featured Carter Hart, Philippe Myers, Mikhail Vorobyev and Mark Friedman, all of whom played for the Flyers in 2018-19.

This year's crop of players features some of the organization's top prospects and a trio of forwards who could join the Flyers at some point in 2019-20.

3. Numbers to watch

There are two sheets of ice at Skate Zone that will oftentimes be used simultaneously throughout camp.

With 41 players listed on the camp roster, which includes newcomers to the organization, here are five players to watch:

No. 48, Morgan Frost — A can't-miss playmaking center who was ranked as the 13th-best prospect in hockey by ESPN's Chris Peters during March. Over his final two junior hockey seasons, Frost combined for 221 points (79 goals, 142 assists) and a plus-103 rating in 125 regular-season games with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (see story).

He'll be turning pro in 2019-20 and will be pushing for the Flyers during training camp. You'll want to keep an eye on him, especially when he's doing this:

No. 60, Joel Farabee — An advanced, quick-rising winger who needed just one year of college hockey before turning pro. Farabee, a strategic goal-scorer with a lot of skill, put up 17 goals and 36 points in 37 games with Boston University and was named the 2019 Tim Taylor Award winner for national Rookie of the Year.

"If he needs some seasoning in Lehigh, that happens with a lot of really strong prospects, but it also wouldn't surprise me when the Flyers have him in their opening night lineup next October," U.S. under-18 head coach John Wroblewski said to NBC Sports Philadelphia in late March (see story).

No. 76, Isaac Ratcliffe — Another goal-scoring winger, Ratcliffe is hard to miss, not only thanks to his 6-foot-6 frame, but also because of his superb hands and soft touch. The 2017 second-round pick scored 50 goals and 82 points in 65 regular-season games for the OHL's Guelph Storm before tacking on 30 more points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 24 playoff games (see story).

Just like Frost and Farabee, Ratcliffe is turning pro in 2019-20.

No. 45, Cam York — The Flyers' newest first-round pick, York will get his first taste of the organization. The defenseman does not lack skill or scoring ability. The Flyers watched York a lot before drafting him No. 14 overall last weekend.

"He's put up big numbers offensively," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said (see story). "He's a talented guy and projects to be a very good defenseman for a long time."

No. 54, Yegor Zamula — An under-the-radar defenseman who could have a Myers-like climb. Zamula is 6-foot-3, 176 pounds and had a promising 2018-19 season with 56 points (10 goals, 46 assists) in 61 regular-season games for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen. Here's how the Flyers found the undrafted product and signed him (see story).

Below is the full camp roster.


4. The schedule

The development camp is free and open to the public.

Fans can watch along the boards from certain areas or in the stands.

The 3-on-3 tournament has always been a fan-favorite event. A new wrinkle is the 5-on-5 scrimmage Saturday night, which should be fun.

Here is the full camp schedule (which is subject to change) with times. The sessions for goaltenders are 8:15-9:45 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:45 a.m. on Friday and 10-11:15 a.m. on Saturday.

5. The staff

The Flyers' player development coaches run camp, while general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Alain Vigneault will sure to be watching some of it.

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Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe puts on highlight reel as Guelph Storm win OHL championship

terry_wilson_isaac_ratcliffe.jpg
Terry Wilson/OHL Images

Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe puts on highlight reel as Guelph Storm win OHL championship

What a year for Isaac Ratcliffe.

After scoring 50 goals during 65 regular-season games, the Flyers' prospect went on an impressive playoff run, which culminated in an OHL championship Sunday as the Guelph Storm beat the Ottawa 67's, 8-3, in Game 6.

The 67's went a league-best 50-12-6 for 106 points and were a perfect 12-0 in the playoffs entering the championship. The Storm won a pair of Game 7s prior to taking down Ottawa in six games for the OHL crown.

Bravo, Guelph.

Ratcliffe, a 2017 second-round pick of the Flyers, was magnificent in the postseason. He put up 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) and a plus-16 mark over 24 games. In the Game 6 win, he delivered four points, including a filthy goal and through-the-legs assist.

The 20-year-old winger is a unique prospect to follow. He's 6-foot-6 but has soft hands and excellent touch. He scores in a variety ways, but skill is no problem.

"When I was younger, it was a big thing that I used to work on at the end of practice or the end of a skill session," Ratcliffe said last summer. "A guy my size, you don't usually see that and I wanted to prove guys wrong. I can bring any sorts of items to the table and I really wanted to show that I could bring my hands, as well."

Ratcliffe will turn pro in 2019-20, very likely with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

But next up is the Memorial Cup with the Storm.

"I've never played on a team with this much skill, this much class and this much character," Ratcliffe said Sunday to Rogers TV. "I'm so happy right now and we're not done."

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Flyers weekly observations: Carter Hart's moxie, Claude Giroux's drive, Isaac Ratcliffe's 50th goal, more

Flyers weekly observations: Carter Hart's moxie, Claude Giroux's drive, Isaac Ratcliffe's 50th goal, more

Nobody thought the Flyers would go down without at least making it interesting, right?

They're hanging on after following up a pair of damaging losses with a 2-1 overtime stunner in Pittsburgh, keeping hope alive as 10 games remain.

We'll touch on that and more in our latest weekly observations:

• Carter Hart's two games back tell you a ton about the kid.

After not seeing game action for 20 days and being benched in his previous two starts, Hart returned to face the Capitals and Penguins — the last three Stanley Cup champions.

How did he do? He stopped 68 of 73 shots for a .932 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average, while delivering a potential season-saving victory Sunday night in Pittsburgh.

It's great to see Hart trusted in big games despite being 20 years old and coming off an ankle injury. Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon hasn't shied away from playing Hart, no matter the matchup or circumstances.

That's how it should be. Hart is the future and now is the time to get him ready.

• Now that the Flyers are done with the Penguins, the rival becomes one of their best friends. 

A team to keep the closest eye on is the Hurricanes (85 points), who currently hold the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot, ahead of the Blue Jackets (84 points, in the second wild-card position), Canadiens (81 points) and Flyers (78 points).

The Flyers don't play the Blue Jackets again, whereas they still have two matchups left with the Hurricanes. Carolina also has to play the Penguins twice, the Capitals twice, the Lightning once and the Maple Leafs once.

Yes, the Flyers will be pulling for Pittsburgh there and should have the Hurricanes in their sights if they want to squeak into the playoffs.

• Sunday night was one of countless examples of Claude Giroux's quiet leadership.

Giroux could not partake in morning skate because he was under the weather and deemed a game-time decision.

He ended up gutting it out, playing 23:33 against the Penguins and finishing as a plus-2. In his four matchups with Pittsburgh this season, Giroux scored four points (two goals, two assists) and was a plus-4 in 24 minutes per game.

Gordon told reporters at PPG Paints Arena that Giroux was able to eat a little bit of food during the day and got an IV before the game.

"When you think about a guy being able to feel as bad as he did this morning that he couldn't come to the rink — and you know how much he loves being at the rink — it was pretty impressive," Gordon said Sunday night.

Teammates look up to this stuff.

Not long ago, Giroux took a power-play adjustment in stride when Gordon and assistant coach Kris Knoblauch decided to roll with five forwards, which moved the captain out of his usual left circle.

That morning, before the Jan. 14 game, Giroux was the first player on the ice to get extra reps in from the opposite side, not as friendly of a spot for a righty-shot player. 

Giroux's drive at 31 years old is something else. And his teammates see it.

• A prospect who doesn't draw as much publicity as others accomplished an impressive feat last weekend.

Isaac Ratcliffe, a 6-foot-6 winger taken in the second round of the 2017 draft, scored his 50th goal of the season, tied for fifth best in the OHL.

The 20-year-old will be a player to watch next season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. He's particularly intriguing because his size belies his skill and soft hands.

"When I was younger, it was a big thing that I used to work on at the end of practice or the end of a skill session," Ratcliffe said last summer. "It was a big thing I liked to work on, a guy my size, you don't usually see that and I wanted to prove guys wrong. I can bring any sorts of items to the table and I really wanted to show that I could bring my hands, as well.

"You see a big guy like myself, 6-5, 6-6-plus, and you see a guy, usually a little loose on his feet or his hands are a little stiff, but I like to show that I can skate, as well, and use my hands, be deceptive coming into the zone or coming out of the zone."

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