German Rubtsov

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Joel Farabee, just like 'The Man'

Flyers notes, quotes and tidbits: Joel Farabee, just like 'The Man'

VOORHEES, N.J. — Players were skating casually and flipping innocuous shots on net as an afternoon session of Flyers development camp was coming to a close.

Joel Farabee, the 14th overall pick in last week's NHL draft known for a sharp shot, wasn't quite satisfied with his performance during a shooting drill, so he found Scott Gordon.

The Phantoms' head coach offered a few extra pointers and then Farabee shook his hand. On his first day hitting the ice as a Flyers prospect, this was a snapshot of the 18-year-old as a player — talented enough to headline the club's 2018 draft class but just as hungry and respectful as the rest.

"I think the whole part of this camp is to learn as much as you can," Farabee said. "I'm definitely going to college next year, but I've got to learn a lot to make it to the next level, so I'm just trying to get as much information as I can to be a better player and see what I can do."

Farabee, a left winger out of the USA National Team Development Program, showed what he could do last season, recording 33 markers and 76 points in 62 games. He also showed some of his skills Thursday, along with 29 other players, to open up the organization's annual gathering of prospects.

"He can score goals, he can skate, he has a lot of good components," Flyers player development coach Kjell Samuelsson said. "Like everybody else in that age, the physical part is not there."

The maturity is, though — that much was clear Day 1 when he sought out Gordon. 

Growing up, former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was Farabee's favorite athlete. It looks like there's some of No. 26 in the Flyers' first-round pick.

German's got it
German Rubtsov, the Flyers' 2016 first-round pick at No. 22 overall, is in his second development camp. The 20-year-old center with NHL hands was impressive during a shooting drill, despite the competition in net being a practice player and not a prospect.

Rubtsov will turn pro in 2018-19 after helping Acadie-Bathurst Titan win the QMJHL championship and Memorial Cup.

"I feel good right now," Rubtsov said though an interpreter, Flyers skating coach Slava Kouznetsov. "I don't know how close I am to the NHL level. It's not for me to decide but I'm working on it."

All about the goalies
Goaltenders took the ice first Thursday, featuring Carter Hart and Felix Sandstrom.

Hart, one of the team's prized prospects, seems billed to start the 2018-19 season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

But that won't stop him from shooting for the Flyers. Hart exudes confidence and sounds like a 10-year NHLer with he how articulates his thoughts and talks the game.

"My goal is to play in the NHL next year," Hart said.

"I love coming to Philly whenever that is for development camp or training camp and I want to be a Philadelphia Flyer next year — that's my goal."

And if the Flyers still need a winger …

As for Sandstrom, 21, he will play another year in Sweden, gearing up for his first full season with HV71 of the SHL. He went through a difficult 2017-18 season in which he played for three teams and missed about two months because of a stomach illness.

Size matters
The Flyers have some serious size at development camp. Goalie Ivan Fedotov, a 2015 seventh-round pick, is 6-foot-7 — yes, a 6-foot-7 goalie. Then there's defenseman Philippe Myers, who is 6-foot-5, and winger Isaac Ratcliffe, who is 6-foot-6.

"It's been a long week but it's been a good week. Kind of no time. Really only on the plane I was able to sit back, put away my phone and listen to music and relax. It's been unbelievable. I couldn't be happier to be a Flyer."

- Flyers 2018 first-round pick (No. 19 overall) Jay O'Brien

"It was probably my favorite year I’ve ever played hockey. We won a lot of games. We didn't lose too many. That's always fun."

- Morgan Frost on his 112-point junior season with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who went 55-7-6.

More on the Flyers

2 Flyers prospects have grown by 'leaps and bounds'

AP Images

2 Flyers prospects have grown by 'leaps and bounds'

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Mikhail Vorobyev, C, 21, 6-2/207, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Vorobyev returned to action last week after missing more than a month with an undisclosed injury. Vorobyev recorded an assist in his first game back Friday night in Lehigh Valley’s 5-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It was the Russian’s first game since Dec. 12. He was pointless in the Phantoms’ 3-2 OT loss Saturday to Utica.

“He’s another guy that is leaps and bounds from where he was at the start of the year,” Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon told NBC Sports Philadelphia last week. “It was disappointing that he got hurt when he did because he was starting to come into his own, starting to get more confidence in how he needed to play over here in a smaller rink and the spacing of it and not playing a perimeter game and getting more to the net.”

Samuel Morin, D, 22, 6-7/202, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Morin’s latest injury forced the hulking defenseman to miss the Phantoms’ final three games before the AHL All-Star break. He's appeared in just 15 games this season because of injuries, and his most recent injury came at a time he was “playing more like the Sam that we’ve seen — that was encouraging,” Gordon said.

“It’s going to get taken care of and Sam is going to get himself back into playing shape and play the type of hockey we know that he can play,” Gordon said, “and the type of hockey that’s going to give him success in the NHL.

"The kid's game is about intimidation as far as that presence of 6-foot-7. He's got a mean edge to him when he plays. That part of the game is easy for him. What I was happy about was, his playmaking decisions with the puck in the last three games. That was something you're constantly, as a defenseman, want to get better at."

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Lindblom tallied his 13th goal of the season in the Phantoms’ final game before the break Saturday night. Gordon spoke highly of the Swedish winger’s growth throughout his first full season in North America. Gordon noted that Lindblom’s six-game pointless streak to begin the year was mostly bad luck. Lindblom has 29 points in 45 games.

"The thing that's been really impressive is,' Gordon said, "the puck started going in, but how much stuff he started creating on his own. Being in a battle with two guys and coming out with the puck. A puck that looks like it's going to get poked off his stick, he somehow manages to keep it on his stick and then makes the next play from there.

"I knew Oskar from when he was over here two years ago," Gordon said, "but I didn't know how strong he was in his battle, compete level on loose pucks in one-on-one battles. That to me, out of all of our forwards, he's head and shoulders over everybody and as a result, a lot of his offense comes from stuff like that. He makes plays to his linemates that other players might not get the opportunity because they don't even get to start with the puck because they can't compete and battle the way he does."

Quick hits
Felix Sandstrom remains on loan to IK Oskarshamn of the Allsvenskan. He has a .914 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average in four games with Oskarshamn.

• Phantoms center Mike Vecchione has a three-game goal streak and a four-game point streak. Here is Vecchione’s goal Saturday night that extended his goal streak.

• After his 20-game point streak ended, Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost has ignited another. He had a seven-point week in three games and has points in his last four games. He leads the OHL plus/minus (51) and is second in points (79) assists (51).

Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph) had a monster game Friday against Flint, registering his first career OHL hat trick and picking up an assist. He’s up to 26 goals in 46 games.

Carter Hart’s 13-game winning streak ended in Everett’s 3-2 shootout loss Saturday night to Seattle. Hart leads the WHL in GAA (1.51) and save percentage (.953).

• Acadie-Bathurst forward German Rubtsov missed two games last week but returned Friday with a goal and an assist. Rubtsov has 23 points in 23 games with the Titan and 34 points in 34 games overall this season.

Pascal Laberge stayed hot last week for Quebec, picking up two assists Saturday and extending his point streak to five games. That streak ended Sunday. He has 10 points in his past 11 games.

• Michigan’s Cooper Marody, who was among the initial Hobey Baker nominees, is pointless in his past four games.

Tanner Laczynski extended his point streak to 10 games last week. He has 15 points during his current streak and is tied for third in the country with 36 points this season.

The Flyers' other top goalie prospect is back

Tom Dougherty | NBCSP

The Flyers' other top goalie prospect is back

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Felix Sandstrom, G, 21, 6-2/102, Brynäs IF (SHL)
With as much noise as Carter Hart is making this season, it’s easy to forget about the other highly touted goaltending prospect in the Flyers’ pipeline. Sandstrom has not been featured much in this season’s Future Flyers Report, and it’s not because he’s fallen off.

Sandstrom, who turned 21 this past Friday, returned to game action last week after missing a few months with an injury. Sandstrom, loaned to IK Oskarshamn of the Allsvenskan as a plan to ease him back in,  allowed four goals on 60 shots in two games last week.

The plan, coming into the year, was for Sandstrom to spend one more season in Sweden before jumping overseas in 2018-19. Now because of injuries, one has to wonder if Sandstrom will re-up for one more season with Brynäs IF or stay on course.

Wade Allison, RW, 20, 6-2/205, Western Michigan (NCAA)
The Broncos returned to action last week after the winter break, and the stoppage didn’t slow down Allison. The sophomore continued his breakout season at Western Michigan, picking up two assists Friday as the No. 12 Broncos upset No. 2 St. Cloud State, 7-5.

On Saturday, Allison suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of WMU’s match with St. Cloud State and did not return, ending his four-game point streak.

Allison is one of three prospects tearing up the NCAA, joining Tanner Laczynski (Ohio State) and Cooper Marody (Michigan). The trio is among the nation’s top scorers. Laczynski’s 34 points are second, Marody is tied for third with 31 and Allison with 30.

Of the three, Allison has the highest NHL ceiling. Allison is one of three 2016 second-round picks, with Hart and Pascal Laberge being the other two. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Flyers try to convince Allison into leaving college early after this season.

Isaac Ratcliffe, LW, 18, 6-6/205, Guelph (OHL)
Ratcliffe has battled inconsistency during his draft plus-1 season with the Storm, but Friday night, he showed why Flyers GM Ron Hextall traded up in last June's draft to select him.

The 6-foot-6 winger potted two goals in Guelph's 4-2 win over Kingston. His first goal tied the game at 2-2, and he then won it with a shorthanded marker at 14:52 in the third period. On his first goal, Ratcliffe showed an incredible ability to score from in tight. The second goal, he displayed surprisingly quick speed for a player of his size.

In 41 games this year, Ratcliffe has 21 goals and 36 points with a minus-13 rating. He’s been a streaky player, either scoring in bunches or going games without scoring. That’s part of the maturation process, but you’d like to see a little more consistency from him.

Morgan Frost, C, 18, 5-11/172, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
As Frost continues to rake in the OHL, we’ll continue to feature him in this report. Frost extended his point streak to 20 games Saturday. He had six points in three games last week. He has 45 points during his 20-game point streak. He leads the OHL in points (71), assists (44), plus/minus (50) and fifth in goals (27). Read more about Frost here.

Quick hits
• Laczynski had a five-point weekend — one goal, four assists — against Penn State.

• Marody had a goal in each of Michigan’s two games against Minnesota. His teammate and fellow Flyers prospect, Brendan Warren, had three goals vs. the Golden Gophers.

• Hart stopped 31 of 33 shots in his first start for Everett on Saturday night in his first game since returning from the world juniors. Hart stopped 24 of 27 shots Sunday night to extend his WHL winning streak to 10 games.

• In five games since returning from the world juniors, German Rubtsov has three goals, including a two-goal game Sunday, and three assists for Acadie-Bathurst.

• It was a big week for Kelowna's Carsen Twarynski, who had two goals and four assists in three games. He’s up to 49 points in 40 games this season.

• Kitchener captain Connor Bunnaman ended a six-game pointless streak Sunday with an assist against London.

Anthony Salinitri had two goals and an assist in two games last week for Sarnia.