Flyers prospects

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 prospect Morgan Frost ready to make an impact, regardless of where he ends up

Flyers prospect Morgan Frost ready to make an impact, regardless of where he ends up

The Flyers had one of their most successful drafts of the decade back in 2017, acquiring some of the best prospects in their system. Isaac Ratcliffe, Matthew Strome and Noah Cates are a few to name, but one of the most talked about is 20-year-old Morgan Frost.

"I was super excited to come to Philadelphia," Frost said last month in a sit-down interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derek Souders. "Excited for the future and playing pro hockey here."

Now, after finishing his time in the OHL, it is time for him to make the jump and go pro in his third year with the organization.

While it's already a known fact that Frost is starting his professional career with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms rather than the Flyers, it shouldn't discredit the work he put in during the offseason and training camp.

He used his time in the offseason to work on the basics of the game — getting stronger and faster — but also spent more time focusing on his mental game. It was important to work on all aspects of his game to be as ready as possible for this transition.

Even with new faces behind the bench, there was a level of comfort heading into the year.

"The first time you come in, you don't really know what to expect," Frost said."You're kind of just starting to meet the other prospects and guys in the organization.

"Now that it's my third year, I think I'm definitely a little more comfortable and it makes it easier to come in the rink and kind of just do my thing."

Once Wayne Simmonds was moved at the trade deadline last season, it was apparent that there was going to be an open spot on the roster. Yes, forward Tyler Pitlick was acquired in the offseason and could change a lot for the Flyers, but it seemed like the prospects were going to have a decent chance to earn the spot, as well. Frost has been known for his ability to drive play down the middle in a flashy fashion, so would adapting to the pace of the pros and a new position all at once be too much for him?

"I think I'm definitely a natural center but I've played wing in the past, especially last season," Frost said. "I played wing for a decent amount of time. I think it's an adjustment and I'm confident I can make the switch."

If it weren't for his injury, a groin strain that held him back from playing more than two preseason games, it would have been likely that he accompanied the team to Europe to start the season.

Now with the Phantoms, Frost is going to do everything in his power to show that once a spot on the roster becomes available in the future, he should be the next man up.

Until then, it's important to note the surplus of talent that is going to be with the Phantoms at the start of their season.

I'm definitely excited for this year. There's a huge group of us that are kind of coming up together, so regardless of where I end up, I'm excited to be in the organization and have a lot of fun this year.

It's certainly an exciting time for Flyers fans as well — talent is bursting at the seams at all levels of the organization and it's time to let it flourish.

It'll only be a little while longer before the highly anticipated day when Frost finally makes the roster arrives. There's no doubt he will fit right in and start making an impact from the moment his skates hit the ice.

For more from Frost on how he got into hockey, his versatility and impressions on Philly, watch the "Break the Ice" video above.

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Joel Farabee brings it, Carter Hart the No. 1 development, more on Flyers' preseason shootout loss to Rangers

Joel Farabee brings it, Carter Hart the No. 1 development, more on Flyers' preseason shootout loss to Rangers

BOX SCORE 

NEW YORK — Goodbye, New York. Hello, Switzerland.

The Flyers suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in their sixth preseason game out of seven.

Next up is Europe.

The Flyers' roster is at 27 players and needs to be down to a maximum of 23 by next Tuesday at 5 p.m. With injuries, the Flyers' roster decisions are becoming somewhat easier.

Let's get into observations from the sixth exhibition game:

• Joel Farabee just looks like he belongs. His size really hasn't been a factor and his effort is often second to none.

During the second period, he got knocked on his butt in front, hopped right back up and continued to look for a shot to deflect.

The winger has done everything this preseason but score. Farabee has been robbed on a number of chances, including Henrik Lundqvist turning away the 19-year-old with a lunging save to elicit a "Hen-rik" chant during the middle frame.

Farabee also rung two posts and was active throughout.

• Kevin Hayes returned to Madison Square Garden and notched an assist by slinging a pass off the skate of Travis Konecny for a second-period goal.

Hayes has been superb this preseason. Konecny has two goals in three exhibition games.

• Philippe Myers played well. Thanks to his mobility, he kept up with a forward and broke up a chance during the second period. He's looked better his last two games.

"I think he's been no different than a lot of guys," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said before the game. "I don't think he's on top of his game right now but I thought last game he was particularly good defending. I thought he had a good stick. I thought he did some really good things 1-on-1.

"It's obvious that his puck play could be a little bit better but that's not unusual this time of the year."

• Robert Hagg didn't look good on the Rangers' first goal. He was screening Carter Hart in front and then a shot from the point clanged off the defenseman's leg, leading to the goal. Lias Andersson put it home as Myers, to the left of Hagg, got caught watching a bit.

Both Hagg and Myers are competing for a spot in the season-opening lineup. And credit to Samuel Morin, who performed nicely Thursday night and was a plus-1.

• Hart allowed the goal that really wasn't his fault. He has stopped 56 of 57 shots through the preseason. He denied two of the three shootout attempts.

Hart's sharpness might be the team's most refreshing development of the preseason.

• The first period was chippy. Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton both dropped the gloves, while Konecny got feisty battling in front of the net.

• Nolan Patrick on Thursday was diagnosed with a migraine disorder. Here's a look at the development/treatment and how the Flyers will adjust down the middle.

• Connor Bunnaman could be key in helping the Flyers get by through the early stages of Patrick's absence. When Fletcher was asked if Bunnaman could center the club's fourth line, he responded: "Absolutely."

"He's been the best player in training camp," Fletcher said. "He was outstanding in the practices. His first game wasn't great, but he's gotten better and better and better. By best player, I mean in terms of expectations. He's come in and blown them away."

Bunnaman and Carsen Twarynski have become important pieces to open the year.

• Chris Stewart, with the Flyers on a pro tryout, will accompany the team to Europe but no decision has been made on if they'll sign the 31-year-old forward.

• The Flyers fly out to Switzerland Friday night ahead of its preseason finale next Monday against HC Lausanne (2 p.m./NBCSP+).

They open the regular season next Friday against the Blackhawks in Prague, Czech Republic (2 p.m./NBCSP).

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