After spending Thursday at the annual Trial on the Isle, the Flyers prospects returned to the ice on Friday. As with Wednesday, it's hard to draw conclusions from just one day of practice, especially considering how little you see of everybody.
For the second straight practice, only half of the rookies had name plates on their back. No idea why that is, but it's a little frustrating. They change into named jerseys for the scrimmage, but it leads to some difficult scouting at practice.
Partly because of that, but mostly because of my previously mentioned affinity for goalies, I spent most of the practice time watching the trio of Nicola Riopel, Brad Phillips, and Sergei Bobrovsky take turns in net.
I didn't mention it on Wednesday (mainly due to the poor quality), but be sure to stop by the Broad Street Hockey YouTube page for videos from camp. Try to forgive the quality as it was taken on my phone.
After the jump to see who stood out on day 2, for both good and bad.
We'll just do bullet points since it's a lot easier to transcribe my notes that way.
Andrew Rowe (LW, Michigan State) - Rowe is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Signed as a free agent two months ago, he has a really nice wrist shot. He shows a well-rounded game as he completely leveled Shane Harper (RW, Everett/Adirondack) during the scrimmage and shows good puck handling skills. The problem is that he showed a little bit of Scott Hartnell: makes a great play to get/keep the puck, find space, then send a cross-ice pass straight to the other team.
He got my first start of the game for his great effort, but also his beautiful assist on Phil Ginand's (C, Mercyhurst College, tryout) game winning goal. Rowe went wide, beat the defender, and then laid a saucer pass over the stick to Ginand, who was staring at an empty net. Great play all around.
- Sergei Bobrovsky had new pads on today and he clearly isn't used to them yet. All in all though, he had a much better day. Not spectacular, not bad. He had one go right through his five-hole after hitting his pad. After Wednesday, I'm retracting my criticism since it's becoming clear that he's just uncomfortable in the new equipment.
- Ben Holmstrom (RW/C, UMass-Lowell/Adirondack) showed a penchant for burying rebounds as he put two past Riopel in practice. During the scrimmage, however, he was seriously unlucky. He constantly found himself in the right spot, but either was well-defended, lost the handle, or shot it straight into the goalie's chest.
- Nic Riopel was solid if unspectacular today. At one point, he let in a goal and looked frustrated, and the next time he got back in net he gave up two rebound goals to Holmstrom. Hopefully it's nothing, but it looked like he got frustrated and lost his focus due to the first goal.
He wasn't challenged much in the scrimmage, but he did make a really nice save from in close, hugging the post and eventually covering up.
- Adam Morrison (G, Saskatoon) was simply unimpressive today. During drills, he gave up a breakaway goal along the ice because he didn't have his stick down. If you're going to stay standing, you better have your stick on the ice.
Rather than criticize him again, I'll just point you to my earlier critique: "Adam Morrison is less than impressive. Four shots, two goals, one save, the last beat him but went wide."
- Today was the first time I saw Chris Rawlings (G, Northeastern, tryout) play, and I must say I was impressed. He's big (6'5", 210), and he stays upright when in the butterfly which takes away a lot of the net. He's aggressive - going out to the top of the crease - and he shows poise when going side to side. The problem is that he more than once over-committed during drills and put himself out of position when going side to side.
He was really good in the scrimmage too as he made a huge save on a Rowe one-timer from the slot and a huge save on Holmstrom in the crease after Wellwood found him from behind the net.
Brian Stewart (G, Northern Michigan/Adirondack) had a better day today, but he still loves the poke-check. Hopefully he gets better at it. Also, when he sprawls out (using RB and right thumstick-down, for you NHL10 players) he doesn't quite connect to the post. He got beat along the ice next to the post.
At the end of the scrimmage, he was trying to get off the ice for an extra attacker. He made it to the hash marks before having to skate back to his net due to a turnover. He managed to blocker a shot away while still near the dots, then rushed back to his crease in time to stop another shot. Good plays all around. He got the third star despite giving up the only goal mainly because of the many saves he made, including those last two.
He still has hideous pads though.
Zac Rinaldo (C, London/Barrie) has been good (not great) so far, and he showed a pretty good wrist shot late in practice as he roofed one on Brian Stewart. During the scrimmage, he tussled with Michael Banwell (D, Maine, tryout) in what appeared to be more of a wrestling match than a fight. Pretty uneventful bout.
Mike Testwuide (RW, Colorado College) showed an ability to win board battles, as he was able to clear the zone, make the breakout pass, and skate straight to the net for a deflection. He's also really good in the corners, as he can both steal the puck and protect it once he has it. At one point, he went in behind the net and knocked Brian Stewart down. Jordan Hill (D, Niagra, tryout) came in to defend his goalie, but nothing materialized.
- I said it Wednesday, but Oliver Lauridsen (D, St. Cloud State) is huge. He can throw big checks, but he should probably be throwing more of them. He's a beast.
- At this point, there isn't much else to say about Marc-Andre Bourdon. Kid is just so steady and calm, it's becoming boring. He collected a rebound in the slot and took his time clearing it from in front of his net. Shockingly, I wasn't nervous. Whatever word you prefer - confident, poised, patient - to use fits.
- Luke Pither (C, Barrie) showed some flashes today. He has good acceleration and good puck-handling skills to go along with his good passing skills. He's not there yet, but you can see something is there.
Eric Wellwood (LW, Windsor) had a great game. If I had to name the game's three stars, he would have been the #2 star behind Andrew Rowe. He was swarming the puck and it seemed to always end up on his stick. He went in on the forecheck alone at one point, successfully cut off the passing lanes between the three defenders, then laid an open-ice hit to knock the puck loose and feed Holmstrom in the slot. Great effort.
After Chris asked about his defensive abilities, I noticed that he seems to drift in his own zone. Granted, that was only one shift and it was at the other end of the ice, but he kept his head on a swivel and knew where to be at the right time to chip the puck out of the zone.
- Jason Beattie (D, Niagra, tryout) wasn't as noticeable today, but he once again showed an ability to hit people with a crushing check on Holmstrom to break up an odd-man rush.
As was alluded to, the Orange team won 1-0.
As with last time, if you have any specific questions or anybody you want us to focus on at camp, just let us know. The number of players who I notice but who haven't done much is far too long to say "Player X" is invisible.