At long last, development camp is here! The Flyers kicked off their on-ice sessions yesterday, and we were able to check in with some of the prospects for the first time in a few months, or in some cases, the first time ever. And with those first looks of the players on the ice, we also got to hear from a handful of the players to get some insight into their mindsets and goals heading into camp. Let’s check in with Egor Zamula, Wade Allison, Morgan Frost, Cam York, and Same Tuomaala, shall we?
Egor Zamula (via translator Slava Kuznetsov)
On his chances and readiness to make the Flyers this season.
He worked for the main camp. He’s ready to join the big guys.
On his takeaways from his time with the Phantoms and Flyers last season.
Playing big role on the ice. Playing a lot of minutes and getting ready for the high level.
On what Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher wanted to see him work on this summer.
Working hard every day. Working in workout room every day
And what they wanted to see from him on the ice, specifically.
Being faster in the game. Being stronger and keep the right position.
On his offseason training.
Been in Russia. Trained with the coaches down in his hometown. Playing a lot of one-on-ones. Working in the gym to be stronger and faster.
On his NHL experience and how it will help him going forward.
Give him a little bit more confidence. Show him what’s the big league is and the biggest, strongest the best league in the world. That’s what he was getting ready for in his summer training.
On Cam York, the possibility of being paired with him in the future.
He’s really good guy. He’s nice to have a conversation with him. He’s rooming with him in the hotel. He’s a good player. Egor was watching at the World Juniors. It’s proof he’s a good player. He was wishing him good luck.
On Ivan Provorov and the mentorship he gets from him.
They keep connected the whole summer. They had conversations, text conversations. He was always asking how you’re training and etc. Cannot wait to see him when he’s going to arrive to Philadelphia.
On his mental outlook heading into camp.
WA: Yeah, absolutely. I’m older now. I’ve been to a bunch of these. I know everybody here. Just trying to stay in a good mental headspace. Do the best I can today and give myself the best opportunity tomorrow.
On his NHL stint, how it helped his confidence.
Yeah, it’s huge. Just a sample of what the speed, of the physicality is like. Just kind of test out the water and stuff. I feel confident my ability. I think that hopefully make a push for the team this year.
On what the coaching staff and management want to see from him in a camp like this.
Told me not to get complacent. Show up every day ready to work. Do the best I can, so I can be better tomorrow.
On having a full, healthy offseason to train.
It is nice. It’s new. It’s new having the body feel good. It’s nice. You’re able to put in the work that you need to every day and you’re not thinking about it. You’re not mentally stressed about whether your legs, shoulder, ankle, whatever it is, can support you. You kind of just know it’s going to be there. It’s especially good for my mental and I don’t have to think about it. Things kind of just happened out there, so that’s huge. That’s huge. That’s the biggest thing for me.
On taking on a leadership role in this camp and offering some guidance for the younger players.
You see a bunch of new guys here that haven’t been here before and obviously we’ve both been in their shoes before where you’re not exactly comfortable. You don’t know everybody. You’re going into a new situation in a scenario. For me and Frosty, for us to reach out to these younger guys, even just the small stuff, the small conversations, it’s big for them with their comfort level. Just try to be a leader out here. Show everybody the right path, lead with the small details that really do matter. They really do add up. It’s just the simple stuff. We’re not over preaching or anything. We’re just sharing what has worked for us and what can help them move their game forward.
On a potential skate/edge issue he was dealing with early in the day.
Yeah. We got it fixed though. It won’t be a problem tomorrow.
On how he’s feeling after the surgery.
I feel really good. I kind of got through the rehab part of my shoulder and then it was more just about strengthening it a little bit. I think I’m very close. I feel ready. I’m confident. I feel confident that I can go into battles, take hits, and play physical with it. I’m fully confident. I think I just have a little bit more rehab to go to make sure that it’s fully 100% for the future.
On the timeline of his recovery.
Well, I was here all season. I stayed until the very end of the season, that was mostly rehab and just trying to get motion back on my shoulder. Towards the end, like the last month of the season, I started skating, no contact or anything, but just trying to get a little feel back. As the summer went on, I just started getting more confident and confident with that every day. I’m fully good to go now.
On his frustration level after taking the injury.
It definitely wasn’t fun. I worked really hard and trained hard to make the team. I was really excited that I did make the team and I was getting an opportunity to play. It was real tough timing and pretty unfortunate. I’m glad with the procedure I went through because it’s not going to happen again. Now it feels pretty strong. One tough year, but looking to bounce back this year. I think I’m ready to go so.
On his reaction to the Derick Brassard signing.
I didn’t really have a reaction. There’s going to be a lot of guys coming in and out within the organization. I’m just focused on myself, what work I need to put in and what I need to do to make the team.
On his excitement level for camp (especially for facing off against some of the other players who have some NHL experience too).
Everyday here is an exciting opportunity. It’s the best league in the world. To get a chance, even just to be on the ice with guys like that, is really special. It’s nice to be out there, but also have the confidence in yourself that I can be one of these guys, too. I think there’s been a lot of great role models and people that I can look up to within the organization. I’m striving to be one of those people moving forward.
On his takeaways from his NHL games.
Obviously, it’s a lot different game up there. I think for me, just the thing that I noticed the most was probably just the speed, the skill and the size of the guys was just a little bit next level, a lot different than what I was used to. I felt like I adapted pretty quickly and got used to it as time went on. Definitely at the start, it was rather eye opening to see.
On what the coaching staff and management wanted him to work on this offseason.
For me, I think the biggest point was obviously to physically grow and put a lot of work in in the gym. I felt like I did a really good job of that this past offseason. Secondly, just defensively, like being harder on guys, closing gaps a lot quicker. Things like that. I think they were the main focal points for me.
On his reaction to the Yandle signing, and what it means for him.
I still believe in myself. I think I can make a team still, but it’s a long year. It’s 82 games and the schedule is really tight. There’s going to be a lot of guys coming in and out of the lineup. If you block a shot wrong, you’re out eight games. That’s eight games that people need to fill. I didn’t look at it like ‘Dang, there goes my spot.’ I’m still confident. I still believe in myself.
On whether his takeaways from his NHL stint influenced his approach to training this offseason.
Not really. Brian Galivan, out at Plymouth at the NTDP, is one of the best trainers in the world. I have a lot of faith in that guy, and I know that whatever he’s telling me to do is good stuff. I just wanted to get stronger. It wasn’t like I want my biceps to be huge. It was more like just put on good weight. Make sure that I was strong and ready to go for camp.
On his goal his goal to get stronger, whether that means adding more weight versus functional strength.
I feel like I get asked that a lot. I’m not trying to put on. I don’t want to be 200 pounds right now. I’m a smaller guy. My game is built off of speed and agility, so if I want those two components, I can’t be a certain big weight. I’m not trying to put on tons of weight, it’s more of just becoming strong and allowing my skill attributes to really kind of fluctuate on the ice.
On Zamula’s game and strengths.
He’s obviously a bigger guy. He’s got really good gap control. He’s got a big slapshot. We’re actually roommates right now which is kind of funny. He’s a great guy off the ice. Funny guy. I’m trying to learn from him just like he’s trying to learn from me. It’s a good culture. We’re starting to build a pretty good relationship here.
On what he was told to focus on in order to get to the next level.
Just keep doing what I’m doing. I’m on a good track here. I’ve had a good successful couple years here. I think to get to the next level, obviously, physically. I’m playing against men up there, so I need to become stronger. At the end of the day, it’s the same game up there. It’s not like I’m playing lacrosse. It’s still hockey. I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid. Just keep doing what I’m doing like defensively. Be really hard on guys. Don’t give guys time and space. Every time that you go out, you want to have that mentality of I’m going to shut this guy down. You want the other team to think that like, ‘Gosh, I don’t want to go up against that guy today’. It’s things like that, but I feel like I’m right there. Going to compete for a spot here in a couple weeks and give it everything I got.
On communicating with and getting to know Zamula off the ice.
He can speak it, but it’s definitely not the most fluent. Off the ice, we’re both pretty casual guys. On the ice, we kind of change that. I feel like we kind of put our game faces on and just go to work. I feel like we both kind of do things really well. There are certain things that we’re both trying to get better at and things that we can kind of build off each other from. It’s been fun having him as a roommate so far in camp and we’ll see what the future holds.
On being able to pick things up from guys like Yandle and Ellis in the future.
Yeah, definitely a lot. Those guys have played a lot of games, a lot of important big games. They’ve seen it all. I’m going to pick their brains. I’m going to learn from them as best as I can in hopefully, the long amount of time that I have. I’m sure they’re great guys. I haven’t met them personally. It’s going to be a great environment to be around. Like I said, those guys have seen a lot and are both very good players. I’m really excited to get to play along those guys and hopefully learn a lot of good stuff from them.
On his excitement level for camp, what he wants to accomplish.
Very excited and happy being here.
On where he’s planning on playing this season (Finland or North America).
I come to North America.
On whether he plans to play in the AHL or OHL.
I think my first goal play American Hockey League, but let’s see.
On his decision to sign the ELC and come over right away.
It’s very, very big thing to me and my family. I’m very happy.
On what he hopes to work on in camp.
I improve my physical and defending game.
On what the Flyers want him to work on.
I need to improve my physical and defending game.