Folks, hockey is almost back. Although the regular season starts in a few weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers’ rookie camp opens tomorrow. Maddie already provided you with the list of everybody who will be taking part in the camp, but there may have been a few names (let’s say seven) on there that didn’t ring a bell. That’s how many players the Orange and Black invited to camp who don’t have a contract or don’t have their draft rights held by another NHL team.
These seven names may feel like they’re all new to the Flyers, but that isn’t entirely accurate. OHL winger Maxim Golod, WHL winger Ben McCartney, and diminutive forward Mika Cyr from the QMJHL were invited to the Orange and Black’s development camp back in June. The trio must be doing something right, as they were the only members from the 11 new faces at camp a little over two months ago to return. As for the other four let’s get to know them.
An undrafted 24-year-old left-handed defenseman, Josh Couturier isn’t at this camp because of his last name. Despite sharing the same last name the 6’2”, 190-pound blue liner is not related to current Flyer Sean Couturier. He registered 12 points in 51 ECHL games last season between the Wheeling Nailers (the Pittsburgh Penguins’ affiliate) and the Maine Mariners, the New York Rangers’ affiliate who have Danny Briere as the general manager and VP of hockey operations. He’s regarded as a puck-moving rearguard with a quick defensive stick.
Gerry Fitzgerald is a 26-year-old undrafted center who stands at 5’9”, 174 pounds and can offer pro experience. After he concluded his tenure at Bemidji State with 95 points in 139 collegiate contests, Fitzgerald joined the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate (the Iowa Wild) to post eight points in 16 games to close out 2017-18. He went on to accumulate 19 points in 67 games this season for the same team. Fitzgerald is considered a skilled forward with plenty of speed, but given his age and point production over recent seasons it looks like he’s a player Chuck Fletcher and company may know from his Minnesota days who could fill out a role in the AHL.
Another fresh face with some pro experience is Robert Michel. An undrafted 24-year-old right-handed rearguard from New York, Michel brings a 6’2”, 194-pound presence to the blue line. He finished last season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, where he posted one point in three games, but Michel spent most of the season as the captain of the University of Maine Black Bears in the NCAA. His nine points in 36 tilts helped Maine to a 15-17-4 record to finish sixth in the Hockey East. Before his time at Maine Michel was named the Central Canada Hockey League’s Defenseman of the Year in 2015 as he compiled 16 goals and 37 apples for 53 tallies in 57 games for the Ottawa Jr. Senators during the 2014-15 season.
A 19-year-old Canadian right-handed defenseman, Sean Comrie stands 6’0”, 165 pounds as he enters camp. Following a season where he totaled one assist in 18 tilts for the University of Denver Pioneers the d-man left the school and will play for the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL for the 2019-20 season. Prior to this year Comrie had recently won the AJHL title with the Spruce Grove Saints following a 34-point campaign and nine points in 13 postseason contests. Somehow Comrie is able to enter this camp undrafted after he was ranked 108th on Central Scouting Services’ final rankings for 2018 and was passed over at the draft again this past June.