Chris Porter - A Darkhorse Forward For Flyers

Sunday, September 20, 2015
Chris Porter is looking to make the NHL roster out of training camp. Photo credit: Nina Weiss.
When the Philadelphia Flyers opened training camp Friday, Chris Porter was among the 15 forwards practicing with the main group. Yes, the veteran is a former University of North Dakota guy who was coached by new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol, but no it's not the reason Porter is in the organization.

"They had interest before he was even here," Porter said when asked if Hakstol had anything to do with him joining the Flyers organization. "It’s been a long time since I’ve had him. It was a little weird seeing him in orange and black instead of green and white, but it’s nice to see a familiar face."

Flyers GM Ron Hextall had contacted Porter's agent over the summer according to the eight-year pro. Both sides thought it was a good a fit and agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

"I’ve always liked the style they play here in Philly – I feel like it suits my game really well," Porter said after Friday's practice. "Hopefully I can prove that."

Porter skated on a line with NHL hopeful Scott Laughton and Brayden Schenn this weekend at camp, and it certainly appears he will be given an opportunity to make the NHL roster. While a guy like Laughton has a higher NHL ceiling - entering his second season of pro hockey - Porter's style of play seems to be a better fit in a bottom-six role.

"He’s a straight-line player. He’s a character guy," Hakstol said of Porter. "He knows how to play his role. He’s a bigger body that can skate pretty well that can bring some pace and some physicality to the game."

The trio of Porter, Laughton and Schenn has looked good in camp to date. While Porter doesn't have the offensive upside the other two on that line bring, he's fine with being paired with those guys.

"I want to make every opportunity count," Porter said. "If it’s with [Laughton and Schenn], they’re very skilled players. I’m going to try to get them the puck and create some room for them."

As for what Porter's mindset is in this training camp, it's nothing new for the veteran who last season played his first full year at the NHL level. He brings 173 NHL games of experience to the table, is familiar with the new head coach's style and has an opportunity in front of himself.

"You have to worry about your own business. You don’t want to look too far ahead or who is playing where, things like that - control what you can control.," Porter said, adding, "Hopefully over the eight years that I’ve spent playing, I’ve learned some things about training camp."

"Everyone wants to make a name for themselves. I feel like what I’ve done in St. Louis, I’m going to try to carry that over here and hopefully they appreciate that."


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