2010 Flyers prospect camp

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.
Team Orange runs through some drills before the scrimmage against Team Black. (Candice Monhollan)

Team Orange runs through some drills before the scrimmage against Team Black. (Candice Monhollan)

The Philadelphia Flyers held their annual prospect camp from July 5 through July 12 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the camp on Saturday and Sunday to check out these young players who may one day join the big club.

The prospects were split into two teams: Orange and Black. Both teams took advantage of having two rinks at the Skate Zone and ran drills separately for an hour and 15 minutes. The two teams then scrimmaged against each other for the next hour or so.

I got there a little late Saturday and missed most of practice, but I did get to see all of the scrimmage.

The scrimmage is set up just like an actual game. They even bring in referees and linesmen to officiate. The game is set up in two 20-minute periods and the clock doesn’t stop for anything. It keeps on running, even with icings and penalties. The penalties are different also. Everything is still called as normal, but instead of going down a man, the player the penalty is done to gets a penalty shot (ex: Zac Rinaldo trips Eric Wellwood, so Wellwood gets a penalty shot).

Adam Morrison started in net for Team Black and Nic Riopel started for Orange.

Mike Testwuide, who’s expected to fight for a roster spot on the Flyers this season, opened the scoring and put Orange up 1-0 in the first period.

Luke Pither scored for Black to tie the game, 1-1.

After Pither’s goal, the Orange really came alive. They were doing a good job at clogging up the neutral zone, forcing the Black to have to dump and chase the puck. Team Orange was able to keep the shots to the outside, not allowing the Black to get into the middle. Orange also did a good job of getting bodies and sticks in the lanes, not allowing Black to get anything going.

The first period ended in the tie. Morrison stopped the only penalty shot of the period (against Gregor Hanson).

For the second, the goalies switched. This time, Chris Rawlings backstopped Black as Brad Phillips was in for Orange.

The second period saw Team Black really turn things around. They had a lot more pressure in the offensive zone.

I missed who scored the second goal for Black. All I saw was a “4” before the linesman got in my view and, unfortunately, there were two 40-somethings on the ice that shift. The shot was taken from the point and bounced through Riopel’s five-hole to give Black a 2-1 lead. Since it came from the point, my guess would be that the goal was scored by Kevin Marshall.

It wasn’t long before Orange had the chance to tie the game when a penalty shot was awarded to Oliver Lauridsen, but he shot the puck right into Rawlings’ chest.

Orange did tie the game, however, when Andrew Rowe scored on a breakaway.

Rinaldo laid a huge shoulder hit on Ben Holmstrom, sending him sprawling on the ice. A short time later, Holmstrom and Rinaldo dropped the gloves in the midst of the game.

Rowe had the chance to give Orange the lead on a penalty shot. He threw in a couple of dekes at the end and had Rawlings beat with and a wide open net, but missed the shot.

Yet again, the linesman got in my way on the Black’s third goal of the game (I didn’t have a high vantage point in the game – I was basically at ice level). I did get to see that it was Justin Dowling who scored to give Black a 3-2 lead.

Philadelphia is buzzing over the new Russian net-minder, Sergei Bobrovsky, from the KHL. (Candice Monhollan)

Philadelphia is buzzing over the new Russian net-minder, Sergei Bobrovsky, from the KHL. (Candice Monhollan)

Wellwood was given the chance to tie the game for the third time on a penalty shot after a Rinaldo hook. Wellwood had some nice moves coming down the ice, but couldn’t trick Rawlings.

Everett Sheen sealed the game with an empty-net goal with under a minute left in the game. The Black went on to win 4-2.

Rawlings saved was a perfect 3-for-3 (against Lauridsen, Rowe and Wellwood) in penalty shots, although on one of them, the shot went wide. Phillips faced no penalty shots.

I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see Sergei Bobrovsky play. There’s a lot of hype in Philadelphia over this 21-year-old Russian net-minder. I figured he would play the next day, so I had to make sure I’d go.

MY THREE STARS ON SATURDAY:
1. Andrew Rowe – He really impressed me today. He was quick on the ice, speeding up and down the wing. His speed really reminded me of Darroll Powe. He also is pretty tough, like Powe as well, with some big hits and checks.
2. Justin Dowling – He scored the game-winning goal. He was skating through and around defenders like it was nothing. He also laid out some big hits along the way.
3. Eric Wellwood – He caught my attention at one point during the scrimmage. He was knocked down by a defender, but as he was falling, he still had enough composure to be able to take a shot on goal. It was almost Claude Giroux-esque in the way that he didn’t give up on the puck. Did I mention the falling shot also got through two Black players?

Sunday, I got there in plenty of time. I sat in the rink where the orange team was doing practicing. One end of the ice had their three goalies (Riopel, Phillip and Bobrovsky) taking shots from Chase Hatcher. On the other side, the forwards and defensemen were running through different skating drills.

Bobrovsky seemed very intent whenever the coaches would give instructions to the goalies on what drill they were working on next. But that could also be because he had no idea what they were saying – he doesn’t speak a lick of English. But he seemed to always get the drift of it. His head looks like it’s on a swivel, like he never loses sight of the puck. Unlike the other two goalies, he always started at the top of the crease and worked his way back, cutting down all the angles. Phillips and Riopel started right against the net. Something else I noticed during drill was that Bobrovsky doesn’t immediately go down to the butterfly. From what I saw, he uses the hybrid style of goaltending, combining saves standing up and down in the butterfly.

Then it was time for the scrimmage.

To start, Phillips was in net for Orange and Brian Stewart was Black’s goalie.

Team Black came out on fire, putting immediate pressure onto Orange. Jessi Dudas opened the scoring from the point and gave Black a 1-0 lead.

Orange was committing terrible turnovers in their end, leading to several scoring chances for Black, but Phillips was on his game, stopping the rest of the shots coming his way.

Wellwood got Orange back into it with his goal, knotting the score at 1-1, which is how the first ended.

Team Orange and Team Black face off at the Flyers prospect camp. (Candice Monhollan)

Team Orange and Team Black face off at the Flyers prospect camp. (Candice Monhollan)

Stewart stopped both penalty shot (against Lauridsen and Holmstrom). Phillips stopped the only one he faced (against Sheen).

In the second period, Bobrovsky and Morrison backstopped Team Orange and Black, respectively.

Rinaldo, once again, got into a fight. This time it was against defenseman Michael Banwell. Not too long after, he got into a shoving match with Lauridsen, which probably would have escalated into a fight if the referees hadn’t jumped in.

Dudas gave Black the lead back with another shot from the point, making it 2-1.

Phil Ginand became the first player to score on a penalty shot while I was there out of the two days. He tied the game back up, 2-2.

Neither side was able to gain any advantage after that with Bobrovsky and Morrison going into shutdown mode. They both stopped all the shots for the rest of the period and even through the five-minute overtime.

Bobrovsky stopped both penalty shots he faced (against Pither and Kyle Mountain), and both came in the overtime. Morrison stopped 1-of-2 (against Hatcher), but Ginand was able to score on him.

Bobrovsky and Morrison continued their great display of goaltending in the shootout. No player on either side could score until the fifth round when Wellwood beat Morrison top shelf to give Orange a 3-2 win.

Here’s the shootout roundup:
1. Marc-Andre Bourdon (Black) – Save
2. Phil Ginand (Orange) – Miss
3. Justin Dowling (Black) – Save
4. Ben Holmstrom (Orange) – Save
5. Michael Chaput (Black) – Save
6. Michael Banwell (Orange) – Save
7. Zac Rinaldo (Black) – Save
8. Andrew Rowe (Orange) – Miss (hit the crossbar)
9. Tye McGinn (Black) – Save
10. Eric Wellwood (Orange) – Goal

THREE STARS OF SUNDAY:
1. Sergie Bobrovsky – He had an impressive second period and overtime, but became stellar in the shootout. A Flyers goalie good in the shootout? I know fans, but it’s true! Even when a player had him down and out, he would still somehow find a way to stop the puck.
2. Jesse Dudas – He scored two goals in the game, both from the point, and both with lots of traffic in front of the net.
3. Eric Wellwood – He turned in another good game, surprising me with his skill level. And he also scored the only goal in the shootout.

THREE OVERALL STARS:
1. Sergei Bobrovsky – I can’t help but put him on the list. I have such high hopes for this kid. And the Flyers may actually have a goalie good in a shootout.
2. Eric Wellwood – He posses some skills in his hands. I think after a couple of years with the Phantoms, he could be ready to challenge for a spot on the Flyers.
3. Andrew Rowe – He shocked me with his ability to combine skill and toughness. He’s fast – not quite lightning fast, but could get there – and has no problem skating around or plowing through (literally) the opposing players. I expect some good things from him.

NOTES:

  • Rinaldo really worries me. In my two days at camp, he engaged in two fights with different players. He had a lot of penalties called on him. He just seems to try and instigate things all over the ice, lay borderline dirty hits and get in the faces of others. I know a lot of you are thinking, “Well, isn’t that Flyers hockey?” He seems to be going past Flyers hockey. I hope, for the club’s sake, that if he were to join the Flyers, he would be able to restrain himself and learn some self-control. He is way too reckless for my liking.
  • Chase Hatcher…name sound familiar? Yes, it is Derian’s Hatcher’s son, but no, he was not trying out for the team. The 16-year-old was there to get a feel for what it takes to play on that level. And, in my opinion, he really held his own during the scrimmages.
  • His name is Sergei Bobrovsky. Learn it. Love it. This kid has some real potential…and I mean it. Flyers fans have spent years and years waiting for the next goalie who they could call a franchise goalie. Bobrovsky could be that goalie. He’s quick on his feet – quite literally too. In a drill, all the players (including goalies) skated the length of the rink backwards. Bobrovsky’s legs were moving twice as fast as the other two goalies (Phillips and Riopel). It was definitely a sight to see. He seems so poised in net, and he’s very aggressive. He always comes to the top of the crease and challenges players, and he’s so quick moving from post to post that he almost knocks the net off every time.

Prospect Camp Roster:

TEAM ORANGE
#27 D Erik Gustafsson – Northern Michigan (CCHA)/Adirondack (AHL)
#35 G Sergei Bobrovsky – Novokuznetsk (KHL)
#39 RW Mike Testwuide – Colorado College (WCHA)
#41 RW/C Ben Holmstrom – UMass-Lowell (HE)/Adirondack (AHL)
#47 LW Eric Wellwood – Windsor (OHL)
#50 D Ricard Blidstrand – AIK U-20 (SWE Jr.)
#52 LW Andrew Rowe – Michigan State (CCHA)
#55 D Tyler Hostetter – Erie (OHL)
#56 D Oliver Lauridsen – St. Cloud State (WCHA)
#60 D Dominic Racobaldo – Shattuck St. Mary’s (Boarding school – MN)
#61 F Chase Hatcher – Team Comcast (AYHL)
#62 C Phil Ginand – Mercyhurst College (Atlantic Hockey)
#63 L/RW Gregor Hanson – Northern Michigan U (CCHA)
#65 D Michael Banwell – University of Maine (Hockey East)
#71 RW Blake Gal – Spokane (WHL)
#72 LW Brendan Ranford – Kamloops (WHL)
#74 G Nic Riopel – Adirondack (AHL)/Moncton (QMJHL)
#75 G Brad Phillips – Notre Dame (CCHA)

TEAM BLACK

#38 RW Shane Harper – Everett (WHL)/Adirondack (AHL)
#40 C Luke Pither – Barrie (OHL)
#42 C Michael Chaput – Lewiston (QMJHL)
#43 D Marc-Andre Bourdon – Adirondack (AHL)
#46 D Kevin Marshall – Adirondack (AHL)
#51 C Zac Rinaldo – London (OHL)/Barrie (OHL)
#53 LW Tye McGinn – Gatineau (QMJHL)
#54 D Nick Luukko – Gunnery (Prep School – CT)
#57 LW Everett Sheen – Holy Cross (Atlantic Hockey)
#58 C Kyle Mountain – New Hampshire (EJHL)
#59 C Justin Dowling – Swift Current (WHL)
#64 D Jordan Hill – Sarnia (OHL)/Saginaw (OHL)/Manitoba (AHL)
#67 G Brian Stewart – Northern Michigan (CCHA)/Adirondack (AHL)
#68 D Jason Beattie – Niagara University (CHA)
#73 G Adam Morrison – Saskatoon (WHL)
#76 D Jesse Dudas – Bloomington (IHL)/Corpus Christi (CHL)
#78 F Ryan Ferrill – Philadelphia Junior Flyers (AYHL)
#79 G Chris Rawlings – Northeastern (Hockey East)

*Italics indicates players who came on a tryout
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