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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Scott Gordon on Philippe Myers: 'He's an NHL player to me'

Scott Gordon on Philippe Myers: 'He's an NHL player to me'

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — When the public address announcer at PPL Center bellowed out Philippe Myers' name during the starting lineup introductions, the 22-year-old defenseman received a hearty applause from the fans.

Last season, he became a popular guy in Lehigh Valley as one of the Phantoms' better players before graduating to the Flyers for a 21-game taste of the NHL.

He returned to the home of the Flyers' AHL affiliate Wednesday night for the club's rookie game against the Islanders' prospects.

And everyone probably knows he won't be back anytime soon.

Myers didn't take long to make his mark Wednesday night as he bounced around a defender on the perimeter and beautifully fed German Rubtsov for the game's opening goal. The play was not representative of a rookie game.

It was big-league stuff.

"He's an NHL player to me. He played like it," Lehigh Valley head coach Scott Gordon said following the Flyers' 5-4 shootout loss (see observations). "There's no panic, he's done a great job of preparing himself the last two years to be an NHL player. He just has to have a good camp and everything else should fall into place for him."

The 6-foot-5, 218-pound Myers transformed himself from an undrafted player into a top-50 NHL prospect. The Flyers appear ready for his full-time impact within their group of defensemen. While Myers possesses intriguing offensive qualities like we saw Wednesday night, he has improved in all other areas. He moves the puck up ice, retreats well and stays within himself.

When general manager Chuck Fletcher called up Myers during February of last season, the Flyers were the NHL's hottest team and gaining steam in the playoff race. Fletcher did not have a problem trusting Myers to play important games.

The experience was extremely beneficial.

"I think the biggest thing that I learned is just try to stay calm and composed under pressure," Myers said last weekend at rookie camp. "Try not to panic out there. I got a little bit more comfortable as the games went on. I'm happy I got those first steps out of the way and that I got my feet wet in the NHL. I sort of know what to expect this year."

Gordon was summoned by the Flyers in December to serve as interim head coach. He remembers catching up with Myers back in Lehigh Valley when the blueliner was starting to get comfortable and catching the attention of others.

"I had gone down to Allentown to pick up some things and I stopped by the locker room and he was there," Gordon said last weekend. "We were just talking about his probably two-week period that I had been gone and he had said to me at that time, he goes, 'I'm getting it now. It's starting to come together where I don't feel like I have to win the game every single shift and just let the game come to me.' That's just maturity."

A maturity that has Gordon realizing he might not see Myers back in Allentown.

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