The annual Rookie Game is today at the Wells Fargo Center, with the Philadelphia Flyers playing host to the Washington Capitals. If you've yet to see the roster for the game, just head here and you can see the entire thing.
We've picked out five guys from the roster that you should keep your eye on, whether you're heading down to the WFC for the game or you're staying here and chatting in our game thread and watching via the Flyers website. Jump with us, if you wouldn't mind.
If you see another one of these lists online before the game (it's not a highly creative idea, you probably will), it's almost a guarantee that Brayden Schenn is going to be on the list. We're not putting him on our list though, and the reason is simple: he's going to be spectacular. Schenn is one of the best prospects in the game, he seems a sure bet to make the Flyers roster out of camp, and he's going to be going against guys today that are just not as his level.
If he sucks in the game today, maybe that's a story. More than likely, though, he'll be one of the best players on the ice (if not the best), and that shouldn't shock us. We should expect it.
So, now that we have that out of the way, here are five players to watch today:
No. 14: F Sean Couturier -- For similar reasons as we explained for Schenn, Couturier is probably going to be one of the best players on the ice today. But we're including him on the list because he's much more of a question mark than Schenn is at this point. He's younger, a little more raw and he's likely not going to be on the Flyers roster this year. So let's see what you've got, kid.
No. 61: F Tomas Hyka -- Honestly, all of the guys that aren't under contract with the team but are playing in this game (they're listed in gray on the roster) are probably worth watching. After all, there's a reason the team wants to see them in a game format, right? But Hyka is the most intriguing of that bunch, if you ask me. He was selected 8th in the 2011 CHL Import Draft and will play for Gatineau this upcoming season, and the folks up there are extremely excited about him. He played on a line with Couturier during much of camp this week.
No. 78: D Blake Kessel -- Was he worth signing to a contract, pushing the team back to the 50-contract limit? I mean, if the Flyers were so impressed with him in the last few days of rookie camp to the point where they gave him an entry-level deal, let's see what he's got in game action.
No. 51: F Brendan Ranford -- Remember last year, when Ranford lit up the WHL in the first half of the year and made everybody freak out because we thought we might have drafted like the Red Wings for once? Yeah, well in the second half of the season, he completely fell off the map. Now he's in camp and playing in today's rookie game. The up-and-down nature of last season was probably caused by a ridiculous hot stretch to start the year and nothing more, but it's enough to make me keep an eye on him in today's game.
Capitals F Danick Paquette -- This guy isn't a Flyer. He's a Capital. He's also crazy -- maybe even moreso than Zac Rinaldo (who isn't playing today, by the way). He said during Caps development camp that "I'm a pretty dirty player... like Matt Cooke." Seriously, he said that. He might seriously hurt one of our players today, and that worries the shit out of me with guys like Schenn and Couturier on the roster. Pray.