ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25: Marcel Noebels, drafted 118th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, poses for a portrait during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Marcel Noebels is currently at the Flyers prospect camp. He isn’t only showing his skills to the Flyers at the camp, but also figuring out where to play next season. He has a contract offer literally in his hands from the German DEL league and intends to have a talk about it with GM Paul Holmgren during the camp.
But first, Noebels takes a look back at the draft in Minnesota where the Flyers picked him in the 4th round. He says it was quite the experience.
"It was just incredibly exciting! It also made it especially interesting when you sit there and your name has not been called yet and you just get more and more nervous. It can go on and on, but when your name is finally called, then everything is great and you can be happy that one of the teams has picked you and you’re curious to see what’s going to happen next."
The excitement of getting drafted isn’t comparable to game excitement.
"No, the draft is something quite different. I mean... it’s something you can’t experience every day and games happen a little more often. So you get the feeling that something is different. It’s hard to describe. In any case, it’s a unique experience."
"You don’t meet 30 GMs at once every day and they’re basically sitting right in front of you. I was sitting on the lower level, relatively close, where you can see everything and everyone. You see the guys getting drafted and go shake hands with the scouts, GM, owner, head coach... It was nice and it was worth going to no matter what. You don’t experience stuff like that too often."
Noebels says he didn’t meet many Flyers representatives at the draft, though.
"Not many, actually. But that’s what the rookie camp is for. We were told that we will get to meet all the important people there and stuff. They tell us who’s in charge of what and who can I keep in touch with and so on."
They probably weren't his favorite team, but Noebels is happy he got drafted by the Flyers
"To be honest, I’ve always thought the Flyers are great. Maybe they weren’t my absolute favorite team, but I’ve always thought they’re great and liked the way they play. I did have one or two other teams that I used to follow more, but the Flyers are a huge club with great history – the Broad Street Bullies in the 70’s and so on – and they’re just great overall."
So what was the favorite team?
"Oh, it doesn’t matter now. I have to say that Philadelphia is really a great fit for me because of my style of play and my size and I really like their concept of a more physical game."
"This is how it is now."
Last season was a success for Noebels on a personal level.
"Personally, the season went really great for me. I learned a lot in a year. I was far away from home, my family and my friends. I was totally alone and had to deal with everything by myself. Of course that’s great for personal development."
"We also had a great World Juniors tournament. I thought it was an impressive event. I had never experienced something like that before."
"We didn’t have an incredibly successful season as a team in Seattle, but for me personally, it was good and I learned a lot."
How would Noebels compare the Canadian junior league WHL where he spent last season and the German professional league DEL where he had the chance to play the year before?
"I’d say the DEL is a step faster. The ice surface is smaller in North America which results in more physical contact. That suits me very well. It also makes the game faster in its on way. You can make line changes faster, the puck goes to the net faster, and so on. So it’s getting close to the DEL level. It’s certainly not quite the level of the DEL, but it’s good."
Next season is still up in the air for Noebels. He doesn’t know where he’s going to play, but he has options. The Flyers haven’t told him their opinion about it yet.
"No, they haven’t. That’s another thing that’s nice to get sorted out at the rookie camp. I have a contract offer from the Krefeld Pinguine on my table and I’d like to accept it. But I have the paper with me at the camp and will show it to the Flyers and discuss it with them. And I’ll do what they say because I don’t want to reduce my chances in their eyes by doing the opposite of what they want. Of course that’s a small downside to the whole story now."
Downside, because Noebels would want to play in Krefeld next year.
"Yeah, sure. I like both teams. I like Krefeld, I like Seattle and it would hurt me having to leave either one. My heart beats for them both. But still, I’d love to play in the DEL and get some additional pro experience. I’m also from Krefeld and they’ll always be my home team."
Has Noebels’ summer training changed now after getting drafted?
"Yes and no. It’s not like I’ve trained like an amateur before. I’ve been working really hard for a long time, trying to reach this point where I am now. Everything that comes after that is just the next step. It starts now and it really motivates me. Maybe it’s a little easier to motivate yourself now, because you’ve already taken a major step. Of course now I want to continue developing, try to deliver good performances and then make the big step!"
Noebels says following the free agent frenzy felt a little different this year when he can consider himself a part of the NHL business.
"Maybe a little bit, yes. Maybe it was a little more intense. I mean, I’ve followed it before, too, online. But now it was pretty intense with what happens with Christian Ehrhoff. But there were some good free agents there in general. For example Jaromir Jagr is now coming to Philadelphia."
"But it is a little more interesting and intense to follow the news now when you’re one step closer yourself."
Noebels believes he has a chance to earn a contract from the Flyers at some point.
"Yes, I think so. My goal is to sign a contract sometime relatively soon. It’s not going to be some huge contract and my focus is on training. I’m still a rather young player and I’m thinking about my development instead of money. Like if I sign with the Pinguine, it’s not going to be because I would earn more money there, but because I think it would develop me more. I can make money when I’m 21-23 or older and a more polished player."
Noebels is looking to take the next step in his development again next season.
"My ultimate goal is to play better and that’s what I want. Actually, when I think about the upcoming season and the Pinguine, I don’t want to be on the 4th line anymore. My goal is to get to the 2nd or 3rd line and earn that role. That will be my goal. The competition for spots will definitely be tough, but I want to take that challenge. Eventually, that’s how it is everywhere and that’s how it should be. Otherwise there would be no competitive sports."
Before next season, there’s still plenty of offseason left. It will be full of training for Noebels in a bunch of different countries.
"I’ll be in Philadelphia for 8 days. Hopefully I’ll get the decision on where I’ll play next season."
"A week later I’ll be training with the U20 national team in Switzerland. I will also try to earn a spot in the men’s team. I might have a chance."
"Then I’ll have a week off and then I’ll be on again with the national team. We’ll be in Czech then."
"By 9th or 10th August I’ll be back in Krefeld and hit the ice. Then it just depends on the decision about next season. It’s either a season in the DEL or fly back to North America again in late August. We’ll see."
This report was based off of a German-language story in released by Krefeld Pinguine.