All Eyes On Flyers Top Prospects At Rookie Camp

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Ivan Provorov in the spotlight heading into rookie camp. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Monday's rookie camp more intriguing than past years

Written by: Tim Riday, Twitter

Let’s be honest for a second. Development and rookie camps haven’t always been a major draw for the Philadelphia Flyers.

If you look at past rosters for these events, you’ll be sure to find a few hidden gems. But, for the most part, you’ll wind up scratching your head wondering who most of those players were and what ever happened to them.

There’s a specific reason for that, too.

In case you missed it: Riday's Report previewing the 2016 Flyers Rookie Camp roster.

In previous regimes, specifically under Bobby Clarke and then Paul Holmgren, the Flyers were known to build up their teams through free agency and trades. If a big name was available, the orange and black were quick to line up and send a sales pitch.

Acquiring and stockpiling draft picks was not a priority. Developing talent within the organization wasn’t exactly a strong suit, either. If they had a chance to bolster the lineup immediately, the future was often mortgaged.

Now that’s not to say the Flyers didn’t hit on a few prospects. To suggest otherwise would be untrue. Under Clarke and Holmgren, the team was exceptional when it came to drafting high-caliber players with its first-round picks. In rounds beyond that? Not so much.

That’s why it became easy to overlook when the kids took the ice in the summer and before training camp in Septembers.

Boy, how the times have changed.

If you’ve learned anything about current Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, it’s that his eyes are always on the future. Since taking over in Philly, Hextall has put an emphasis on building the team from the ground up and showing extreme patience when it comes to developing homegrown talent.

It’s impossible to ignore what he’s done in such a short period of time. And that’s why this year’s upcoming rookie camp has a totally different feel to it.

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Flyers have multiple prospects who have a serious and realistic shot at cracking the opening night roster before the main training camp even begins.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Jobs are not going to be won at a three-day rookie camp. What is at stake is an opportunity to give Hextall and the Flyers’ faithful a glimpse at what could very well turn out to become the core of the team in the near future. At least, that’s what Hextall is hoping for.

Story edited by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

In Case You Missed It

  • Highland Park Hockey is now on YouTube! Be sure you're subscribed this week.
  • On Tuesday, I featured the first installment in a weekly series that will run throughout the season. 'Tuesday's Talk' will be the place to get your questions answered as well as learn a thing or two about the finer details of the American Hockey League every week.
  • I'm opening back up the GoFundMe account for those interested in keeping me on the road covering AHL hockey live this upcoming 2016-17 season. For those more familiar/comfortable with PayPal, you can also help send donations there. Thanks in advance for your help spreading the word about the new and improved Highland Park Hockey!


Post a Comment