Flyers Rookie Camp Day 1 Observations
Voorhees – After one day of rookie camp I have to make sure that I don’t place too much importance on anything because these kids are just getting back on the ice, after some time off, and to judge them harshly right now is tough, however, I did notice a few things worth mentioning.
“It’s hard to get a read on it. There’s a lot of teaching. It was good,” said GM Paul Holmgren. “It’s beneficial in regards to nutrition and fitness etc.“
A few media members were having “technical issues” and this made me laugh. The internet was the most valuable commodity in camp today! I went old school and had the paper and pad and was very lo-tech today.
Sean Couturier (got some attention for his missing chicklets) and Brayden Schenn are getting a lot of the early attention, for good reason, they are now rooming together and they are reunited for the first time since playing for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships, this past winter in Buffalo. They won a silver medal and now they have a chance to be teammates all over again due to trades.
Schenn was able to crash the crease in that tournament but he found out today that 6-6 defenseman Oliver Lauridsen played tough against Schenn when they were going 1-on-1 with a goalie in net. Lauridsen was impressive last season but then he had a major shoulder injury just 8-10 weeks ago and he showed that his 220 pounds were more than Schenn (190 pounds) could handle in the early going.
“For him (Lauridsen) to be back out here today shows a major commitment,” Holmgren added.
Matt Read signed a one-way deal with the Flyers and he looks like a hockey player. How good is the question for the future but for now he hasn’t played in more than 48 games in the past four years with Bemidji State, the most he’s played is 57 back in his USHL days in ’07 so don’t expect to see him on the opening day roster. He did well in his 11-game stint with Adirondack last season but he needs to play a lot more games before he can play every day in the NHL. He will get a camp invite.
Some Scouting Notes
There wasn’t a scrimmage today but there should be tomorrow. So look for updated notes from that.
Oliver Lauridsen – Looks faster than last season, he’s definitely stronger, and he was able to cut off Schenn with some hard battling. If he can continue with that physical play he could make the team in the fall as a depth defenseman.
Matt Read – 5-10, 185 – Can play center but with the log jam looks like his best chance to see time in the NHL is on the wing. He has a very good compete level. His skating is good but can improve. He doesn’t look like a future NHL sniper to me, at least not today, but he has a lot of tools. This is his 5th camp. Since he is an NCAA player for a short time longer he paid his own way which shows a high commitment.
Erik Gustafsson – 5-10, 180 – He didn’t stand out today, as a matter fact he did the opposite but its early.
Marc-Andre Bourdon – 6-0, 225 – He did a great job in his 1-on-1 drills against Couturier, and the kid has some sneaky stick skills. Bourdon looks more fit and he appears a step faster. He has a great chance to see some NHL playing time this year if he stays the course.
Sean Couturier – 6-4, 191 – He’s a center with a lot of upside but right now he has to get stronger and I feel like he won’t have enough time to try and make an NHL team. Holmgren did say sending him back to juniors is an option and even though he will be dominant, better for him to hone his skills there for another season rather than getting 3rd or 4th line minutes on a veteran team. His compete level is great, his skating is solid, he’s very agile, and his stick skills are terrific, but his strength is an issue, he needs to get NHL strong. He will get a camp invite for the experience if nothing else.
“I’m working hard at trying to get better.”
Brayden Schenn – 6-1, 190 – This pivot has a powerful stride but against Lauridsen he had some issues, but who wouldn’t. He is working out hard and he will be the Flyers 3rd line center, it’s his job to lose. He didn’t get a chance to show off his puck skills today. But when he found out about the trade he was working hard.
“It was certainly unexpected,” he said after first hearing the news, but then a few hours later. “I was totally excited. My brother (Luke, who plays for the Leafs) and I were driving home from the gym.”
Nick Luukko – 6-2, 183 – I had a chance to see him play a few games last year in the USHL. That’s more than most and I have to say that he looked better today. His outlet passes were much crisper and he was already a decent puck moving defenseman. His team in Dubuque won a championship and I think he is developing. He is still a long-term project.
Brendan Ranford – 5-10, 182 – He is one of the most intriguing players in camp. His uncle Bill was a Cup winner in Edmonton between the pipes. He has a solid frame and he’s a good skater. More to come on him for sure.
The crowd was amazing for the first day of rookie camp, lets see what tomorrow brings.