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.
|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|
|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|
|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.
- 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.