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Flyers prospects at the WJSS: The returnees

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Two of the Flyers’ 2018 draftees were back at the Summer Showcase!

Finland v United States: Gold Medal Game - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

It’s prospect talk time over here at Broad Street Hockey, and we’re tacking on to that a recap of the Flyers’ prospects playing at last week’s World Junior Summer Showcase. While not as heavily represented as they were last summer, the Flyers still had four players representing them this time around, and we’re going to be working on some impressions on how they did in this tournament. We’ll be kicking things off by recapping Adam Ginning and Joel Farabee’s performances, as they were the two Flyers prospects who returned to the showcase after playing in last year’s showcase and World Juniors Championship. You know, the grizzled veterans. Something like that.

Adam Ginning. 4 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, 8 SOG

In a way, I feel pretty glad that I’m not being tasked with assigning a letter grade to Ginning’s performance, because I don’t know how I would do that. Because there are a number of moving parts here, and in some ways feel at odds with each other. On the one hand, Ginning on the whole didn’t really stand out in this tournament, but that is sort of what you want from a defensive defenseman. If you’re noticing him, he’s probably doing something wrong. But, on the other hand, as an older player returning from last year’s team, we might expect him to be exerting a bit more dominance over some of the younger players, but we didn’t quite see that from him.

That said, if we were to strip away that expectation, if you were to decide that it’s unfair or you just don’t particularly care for it, we can still feel pretty good about Ginning’s tournament as a whole. He proved a physical presence and overall showed good gap control. He really shone on the penalty kill, bringing sound positioning and a disruptive stick. And then a pleasant surprise! He flexed a bit of offense, registering eight shots on goal, a good chunk of which came from the point, as he looked to be doing his best Radko Gudas impression. And then there were a handful of times we saw him activating on the rush and it was nice. Like this time when he set up a goal for Blue Jackets prospect Marcus Karlberg.

The other piece that stood out in a bit of a strange way was his skating—some times he looked fine, skating smoothly enough, but there were also a few times where you would catch him moving around and he just really looked like he was lumbering out there. Just a bit funny to look at.

Joel Farabee. 4 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, 8 SOG

If our impression of Ginning was a little wishy washy—he wasn’t what we expected but he also sort of was?—the same can’t be said for Farabee. We expected him to come in and look dominant, and he did that. this tournament, in short, was Joel Farabee, as advertised. He brought his energy and relentless forechecking, giving opponents very little breathing room while he was on the ice. And then, of course, there were the offensive instincts that jumped out. We don’t have a proper highlight reel, but take a couple of tweets instead.

Farabee proved to be kind of a machine for generating high danger chances during this tournament, showing a penchant for crashing the net and really testing the opposing goalies, forcing them to make very tough saves. That’s where goals are scored, as they say, and he knows to go there to create more pressure. And, you know, it’s an added bonus that he’s also skilled enough to close on a good number of those chances that he’s creating.

We alluded to this when we were previewing this tournament, but this was Farabee’s chance to shine, and shine on his own. One of the concerns floated around before he was drafted as well at when he was playing in international tournaments like this one was that his success was due at least in part to playing alongside Jack Hughes, but this time around, there wasn’t that excuse. Farabee, while still playing with extremely talented teammates, was allowed to operate on his own. He’s just really good, folks. No crutch needed.

All stats via USA Hockey.