Voorhees, NJ - A normally reverent Sunday morning quickly became a irreverent battlefield as the Flyer's young prospects took to the ice one last time to give upper management something to think about. Flyer's fans piled into the Flyer's Skate Zone in another strong show of support (bleachers filled, plenty standing.) Not everyone can make such events, so here is a breakdown of everything I was able to note.
From the drop of the puck, the prospects showcased their physical game and were eager to show a high level of compete. Hamonic came out with a strong hit early. Slater introduced himself to Derian Hatcher's son, Chase, with a collision. 4th round pick Taylor Leier smeared Trevor van Riemsdyk along the glass. Derek Mathers had two BIG hits within the first ten minutes and Cousins went careening into 6'5 200 lbs 2nd round pick Anthony Stolarz. No one was hurt in the collision. This was all within the first ten minutes of the 1st.
The physicality of the scrimmage persisted the majority of the game as well. The quality of the skating made an impression as well. A lot of the prospects can flat out get up on their skates.
Stolarz is massive in net. You may have just as well sat a net down over the trunk of my old Honda Accord. Standing up, the cross bar looks to be beneath his number. His size was one of the most consistent remarks I overheard all day.
Laughton seemed to invoke the ire of a few players during the game. In one incident, Laughton and Cousins chirped and got in some stick work on each other in center ice before skating off (they are actually close friends off ice according to reports by Dustin Leed.) Late in the second, Williams crushed McGinn moving between the circles and Laughton, as per scouting reports on his leadership and grit, immediately fought Williams. The fight was short. Laughton got in one, maybe two shots, before Williams tumbled to the ice with Laughton on top of him. They continued to trade love down on the ice while the refs tried to pry them apart. Williams gets a lot of credit. Immediately after the puck dropped in the third, Williams answered the bell against McGinn for the hit. It was an even fight, minus one superb shot McGinn got in early.
Third round pick Gostisbehere did not play.
Alex Emond hurt Federick Larsson in the corner with a hit. Larsson was down for a bit and skated off with assistance. Per Bill Meltzer's twitter account, it was reported that Larsson sustained a concussion but thankfully is doing okay.
I want to preface this by stating that I did not notice everyone. If I do not mention a player/prospect it is simply because they did not stand out (in case of defensemen sometimes this is a good thing) not that they played poorly.
Christopher Clapperton - A smaller player at 5'9 / 166 lbs. Very good skater. Puts himself in the right spaces. Good nose for the puck. He had an outstanding day. Scored at least two goals, possibly three (one I would need to see replay on.) Clearly has good hands. I would be remiss if the Flyers did not take a longer look at him.
Nick Cousins - He landed a nice hit in the 2nd. Cousins can really hound the puck carrier.
Alex Emond - Did not notice much besides a nasty hit on Larsson that took Larsson out of the game.
Austin Fyten - Took a run at Lauridsen that did not end as he would have liked. Credit him with bravery.
Shane Harper - Played fantastic at both ends. Produced. Very involved every shift. Very noticeable in all the right ways. Already at an AHL level, however. Rung a penalty shot off a post. A bit hot headed today. Smacked the boards hard with his stick on two different occasions. Once, it startled the children in front of me sitting along the boards.
Scott Laughton - Had a good overall game. Not quite there yet. Has all the makings. Came as the scouting reports suggested. Tough, willing to take and give punishment, stands up for teammates, sound defensively. His skating and puck movement seemed to be where they need to be. Scissored through the neutral zone like a professional twice. I can't say anything bad about his play. I was just looking for that one gear or shot or dominating play that would suggest he is ready for the next level.
Derek Mathers - As advertised: Big. Mean. Physical. Finishes checks.
Oliver Lauridsen - Whatever skating issues he may have had appear to be gone now. I loved everything about how he played today. Hits everything. Very fluid on his skates. A nemesis around the porch. He has a real presence of mind to make sure the porch is clear. Strong along the walls. Players that tried to hit him bounced off him. Even on a rush into the zone Lauridsen put a shoulder into the attacking forward and drove him right out of the slot and into the corner. There was zero chance to bring that puck into a high percentage piece of real estate. Very sound positionally.
Trevor van Riemsdyk - After hearing that the prospects with family ties to the Flyers organization did not make a tremendous showing in day one, it was nice to see Trevor standout. Very fast on his skates. Good hands. Scored a filthy penalty shot goal. Always seems to be around the puck. Good hockey IQ. Trevor made some nice plays and passes, including one where he was getting angled in his own zone by two attacking forwards, but he protected the puck, took the right amount of time and made a smart and patient play and went off on a line change.Trevor seemed to be in the right places today to make plays.
Cal Heeter - Had a great day. He made some quality saves in the third that really kept his team in it. Looked great under pressure locating the puck during chaos in front of the net on multiple occasions. Made a great recovery save. Looked calm and confident in net. Good positionally. More fluid for a big guy than Stolarz (Cal is listed as 6'4). Not a lot of room to shoot at over the shoulders. Likes to come out of the net to cut down on the angles. Seems a bit aggressive. Came decently far out of the net a few times to snag a puck. Looked OKAY handling the puck with his stick. Did not give up huge rebounds and kept the puck in front of him or steered to the corners.
Anthony Stolarz - Very big in net. The Flyers have forever to develop him. Less confident in net. Less fluid than Heeter. Seemed to lose track of the puck a few times.