Flyers rookie camp begins Wednesday: Roster, schedule, what to expect

Prospect camp, development camp, rookie camp, whatever you want to call it camp starts on Wednesday morning at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. It runs from Wednesday until next Monday, and all sessions are open to the public.

On Friday, the festivities move down to Stone Harbor for the annual Trial on the Isle, where you can see your favorite rookies get their asses kicked by the Jersey Shore sun. Always entertaining. 

Anyway, 41 players are expected to take part in camp this year, from the hyped up Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier to the guys we already know like Zac Rinaldo, Mike Testwuide, Tom Sestito, Ben Holmstrom and others to a ton of unknowns who are ready to show us and management what they have in the tank. 

After the jump, a full schedule of what to expect at camp this week, as well as a full look at the roster expected to show up at camp this year.

Here's the full roster for this year's camp, sorted by position and listed descending order by age. Matt Read is old.

No. Forwards Age From 2010-11 Team Acquired
24 Matt Read 25 Ilderton, Ont., Can. Bemidji St. (NCAA)/PHANTOMS 2011 free agency
34 Ben Holmstrom 24 Colorado Springs, Co., USA PHANTOMS/FLYERS 2010 free agency
29 Mike Testwuide 24 Vail, Colo., USA PHANTOMS 2010 free agency
52 Andrew Rowe 23 Muskegon, Mich., USA PHANTOMS 2010 free agency
37 Tom Sestito 23 Rome, N.Y., USA PHANTOMS, Columbus (NHL) trade with CBJ
9 Harry Zolnierczyk 23 Toronto, Ont., Can. PHANTOMS, Brown (NCAA) 2010 free agency
59 Shane Harper 22 Valencia, Calif., USA Greenville (ECHL)/PHANTOMS 2010 free agency
40 Luke Pither 22 Burketon, Ont., Can. PHANTOMS 2010 free agency
36 Zac Rinaldo 22 Hamilton, Ont., Can. PHANTOMS 2008 draft
42 Jason Akeson 21 Orleans, Ont, Can. Kitchener (OHL) 2011 free agency
60 J.T. Brown 21 Burnsville, Minn, USA Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) invitee
56 Tyler Brown 21 Wasaga Beach, Ont, Can. Plymouth (OHL) 2011 free agency
47 Eric Wellwood 21 Windsor, Ont., Can. PHANTOMS 2009 draft
53 Tye McGinn 20 Fergus, Ont., Can. Gatineau (QMJHL) 2010 draft
61 Kyle Mountain 20 Bryn Mawr, Pa., USA Penticton (BCHL) invitee
39 Marcel Noebels 19 Toenisvorst, Germany Seattle (WHL) 2011 draft
58 Michael Parks 19 O'Fallon, Mo., USA Cedar Rapids (USHL) 2010 draft
51 Brendan Ranford 19 Edmonton, Alb., Can. Kamloops (WHL) 2010 draft
10 Brayden Schenn 19 Saskatoon, Sask., Can. Saskatoon (WHL), two others trade with Kings
14 Sean Couturier 18 Phoenix, Ariz., USA Drummondville (QMJHL) 2011 draft
68 Petr Placek 18 Slany, Czech Republic Hotchkiss (Ct. HS) 2011 draft
72 Nick Cousins 17 Belleville, Ont., Can. Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 2011 draft
73 Derek Mathers 17 Strathroy, Ont., Can. Peterborough (OHL) 2011 draft
No. Defensemen Age From 2010-11 Team Acquired
27 Erik Gustafsson 22 Kvissleby, Sweden PHANTOMS/FLYERS 2010 free agency
38 Oliver Lauridsen 22 Gentofte, Denmark PHANTOMS/St. Cloud (NCAA) 2011 free agency
64 Vincent LoVerde 22 Chicago, Ill., USA Miami Ohio (NCAA) invitee
46 Kevin Marshall 22 Boucherville, Que., Can. PHANTOMS 2007 draft
63 Michael Young 22 Calgary, Alb., Can. Nebraska-Omaha (NCAA) invitee
43 Marc-Andre Bourdon 21 St. Hyacinthe, Que., Can. PHANTOMS 2008 draft
55 Tyler Hostetter 20 Lilitz, Pa., USA Erie (OHL) 2009 free agency
50 Brandon Manning 20 Prince George, B.C., Can. Chilliwack (WHL) invitee
62 Adam Phillips 20 Farmington Hills, Mich., USA UMass (NCAA) invitee
57 Ricard Blidstrand 19 Stockholm, Sweden Regina (WHL) 2010 draft
74 Etienne Boutet 19 St-Nicolas, Que., Can. Rimouski (QMJHL) invitee
54 Nick Luukko 19 West Chester, Pa., USA Dubuque (USHL) 2010 draft
65 Colin Suellentrop 18 Plantation, Fla., USA Oshawa (OHL) 2011 draft
No. Goalies Age From 2010-11 Team Acquired
71 Sean Bonar 20 Delta, B.C., Can. Princeton (NCAA) invitee
75 Eric Mihalik 20 Avon Lake, Oh., USA Colgate (NCAA) invitee
67 Brad Phillips 22 Farmington Hills, Mich., USA Bloomington (CHL) 2007 draft
32 Niko Hovinen 23 Helsinki, Finland Pelicans (SM-Liiga) 2011 free agency
70 Kris Westblom 24 Meadow Lake, Sask., Can. Idaho (ECHL) invitee

I ordered the goalies the wrong way. Whoops. 

Anyway, that's the roster. Lots of familiar faces, some really young kids and a remarkable eight year age difference between the oldest guys and the youngest guys. 

What's the point of rookie camp?

Take our chat from a few years ago with then-Flyers prospect Adam Morrison as an example of what the players should expect at camp this week. 

The summer camp was intense. It was a lot of work. It's pretty amazing to see how hard -- you know, you think you're doing everything that a professional athlete would do in the off season and then you come to a camp like that and see how much harder they work and take it to the next level on a daily basis. To be able to take some of that and use it in my game and my own season really helps to get you ready for the professional ranks. It was a great experience all around and I had a lot of fun.

For the guys that haven't been to a camp like this before, it's all about that experience and that jump up in the work level. For guys that have a shot at making the Flyers next year, either out of camp or as a call up, there's a little more pressure. For those guys, it's another opportunity to show what they have as they try to earn an invite to training camp in September.

Schedule -- all open to the public, no ticket required

  • Wednesday: Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ
    • On-ice workouts. 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • Thursday: Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ
    • on-ice workouts. 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
    • public skating session with players, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Friday: Trial on the Isle, Stone Harbor, NJ
    • 10 a.m.: Bike portion of mini-triathlon begins at 96th Street & 2nd Avenue
    • Paddle boat portion at 89th & Sunset Avenues after bike portion.
    • Running portion follows from 87th Street to 96th Street finish.
    • 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.: youth hockey clinic at Stone Harbor Elementary School (3rd Ave between 93rd & 94th Streets.)
    • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Autographs, cafeteria of Stone Harbor Elementary School. $10 donation.
    • 5 p.m: Charity softball game, 80th Street field.
  • Saturday: Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ
    • On-ice workouts. 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • Sunday: Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ
    • On-ice workouts. 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • Monday: Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, NJ
    • On-ice workouts. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Storylines

- It's no secret that Schenn and Couturier are the most intriguing players in camp. Couturier was a beast in Juniors and will likely not make the team out of training camp in the fall, and his competition in Juniors is probably better than what he'll see in this camp. But it's his first crack at an NHL-type experience, and these camps are all about preparing the guys for what to expect at the next level. 

Will these guys dazzle? Probably. Especially Schenn -- he better dazzle given the hype around him as Best Prospect In Hockey. But you know what? It's rookie camp. Is Schenn better than Kyle Mountain? Yes, he most certainly is (with all due respect to the magnificent Mr. Mountain.) We already know this. Seeing Schenn and Couturier on the ice in Flyers orange for the first time will be great and all, but that's not the true meaning of this camp.

- There's still a battle going on for a roster spot, and somebody at this camp is likely to land it. It's the 13th forward spot on the roster this year, and you have to assume guys like Eric Wellwood, Matt Read and Mike Testwuide are in the conversation to grab it come training camp. This is where the battle begins. 

- Personally, I'm looking forward to the battle between Tom Sestito and Zac Rinaldo. While those other players are skill guys, you have to think that Rinaldo and Sestito are the front-runner for that spot. You can easily understand why the Flyers would want to keep the skill in the AHL and have the tough stuff up with the big club in Philadelphia. Sestito and Rinaldo represent that grit, cost the same under the cap and, barring any more moves by Paul Holmgren, one of them should line up as the 13th forward after training camp. 

- On defense, what's the continued deal with Kevin Marshall and Marc-Andre Bourdon? And, of course, Erik Gustafsson? It'll be nice to see those three players going up against each other again, because they're really the tops we have in the organization when it comes to defensive prospects. If one of them wants to turn into Lidstrom all the sudden, I don't think we'll mind. 

- I'm interested to see what Niko Hovinen brings to the table. The goalie, signed a few months back, was good enough that the Flyers let then-top prospect Joacim Eriksson walk away from the organization. What'd we get?

- Finally, what's the deal with Brendan Ranford? He was unreal to start last season in the WHL and expectations got really, really high, but his game and production quickly tailed off as the season progressed into the second half. So uh, what's he show this week?

So, that's a look at camp this year. It starts tomorrow. If you're going to be in Voorhees at all, make sure to say hey. 

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