Development camp is still rolling, and after the second day of on-ice activities, you guessed it, we had more player (and staff!) media availabilities.
First up, we check in with Cara Morey, who’s the coach of the women’s team at Princeton and also serving as a guest coach for this camp, and then we hear from Tyson Foerster, Tanner Laczynski, and Linus Sandin.
On how the opportunity to join the staff for this camp arose.
During the COVID year when our season was canceled, I spoke a little bit with Brent Flahr and had come into a couple meetings on analytics just to stay involved while our season was on hold. Then as development camp was approaching, they had asked if I’d like to come out and be a guest coach. That’s why I’m here now.
On the interactions with the other coaches.
Interactions have been totally normal. We’re used to coaching with mixed staffs. I am anyway because at Hockey Canada and at Princeton, there’s always men and women. Once you get a marker and a board, or you put your skates on, coaches are coaches. The interactions have been awesome. We talk about different strategies in the women’s game versus the men, but really everything is fundamentally the same.
On the connection with Brent Flahr.
Yeah, so a couple of the alum connected us that we both are familiar with. I just again had talked about coming out to help when our season was canceled. Brent’s been really helpful get me involved.
On the excitement level for camp, and what she looks forward to working on with these players.
Yeah, it’s an incredible opportunity because we haven’t been able to coach for quite a bit. We’re about to start our preseason at Princeton, so this is just perfect timing where I can get back into the swing of things, back into coaching, back into talking hockey. I’m just really looking forward to seeing the developmental differences. Maybe how they approached the game a little bit differently. See if I can pick up a few things and then hopefully add a few things for them.
On the interactions with the players.
It’s been everything. The players have been great already. They just want to learn, and they just want to get better. They really don’t care who it’s coming from. If you can help them, then they want the knowledge. They’ve been extremely respectful. A lot of them coming up, introducing themselves right off the bat. Any way I can help, I’m out there to help. We’ve been talking a lot of technique, strategy, right down to the fine details of how to plant their feet, where their hand should be. It’s been awesome.
On Wade Allison and his game.
He is definitely a one-speed type of player. He’s got a lot of energy and super friendly. Charismatic and engaging. Looks like he’s a lot of fun to play with.
On his first professional season.
Yeah, I think at the start of the year it was tough going down with an injury in the first game of the season. I thought I played really well that game. After camp, obviously, I was ready, and I was in my best health. After I got back after the six weeks that I was out, I felt I wasn’t there. I had to wear a knee brace. My lungs weren’t there. I wasn’t in the best shape. After a couple games there, I kind of got my groove back. I started playing well. The boys around me helped a lot. We were a family there and I thought I was playing really good by the end of it.
On his health status after missing the Summer Showcase with Team Canada.
Yeah, I think I’m in great health right now. My shoulder is a lot better. I’m looking forward to this camp.
On the benefit of getting AHL time last season.
Oh, that was huge for me and I think for Wis too. I think it was huge because I’m playing against stronger guys, bigger guys. I showed that I can hold my own there and I think I proved myself there.
On the difficulties of making the jump from the OHL.
I think just how everyone’s really the same skill level and big. Everyone’s the same strength and you just got to fight for every inch of ice you can get.
On Wade Allison’s shot.
I think his shot is unbelievable. It’s so quick, and it’s so hard. Every time he shoots it, it always goes ting. It’s pretty cool.
On the opportunity to return to the AHL next season.
I think it’d be huge for me to go back there. That’s really out of my control. I’m just going to try and prove myself at camp.
On the improvements in his skating.
I think I’m improving every day. Honestly, I feel like I can hold my own out there. Hopefully, I can show that at camp as well.
On turning pro last season.
Yeah, I think going there, like I said earlier, is pretty cool. Pretty cool being up there with all the guys that have played in the National League and just been up there a while. It’s pretty cool to learn from guys like Cal O’Reilly and Garrett Wilson. I’m looking forward to that, but like I said, it’s out of my control. I hope I can prove myself out here to help their decision.
How are you? How do you feel after recovering from your surgery last season? Are you shaking off a bit of rust? You look pretty good out there.
On his recovery, how he’s feeling in camp.
Obviously, whenever you go under the knife, there’s going to be some rust when you come back. I’ve just been taking it day by day and just doing whatever the trainers, strength guys and all the coaches are telling me. I’m just trying to get ready for camp.
On his recovery timeline.
I don’t know the exact date, but it’s probably been a couple weeks. It’s been kind of slowly building, starting at two days a week on the ice, and then three and four last week. Just kind of slowly building my way and still got three weeks to main camp. Still got some time and just building off of everyday. Just try to work out and get better.
On his timeline, readiness to start the season on time.
Yeah, definitely. I should be clear here pretty soon. That’s the plan, to be fully cleared and fully good to go for camp. That’s what I’m shooting for.
During your time with the Phantoms last year, you had the opportunity to play a lot of different situations and show your two-way game. During your time to the Flyers, you’re mostly centering the fourth line and showing being defensively responsible. Do you feel you’re able to show kind of what you can do at the pro level, despite the injuries you’ve had coming in and going out of the season?
On his time spent and role with the Phantoms and being able to show his game in different situations.
Yeah, definitely. It was kind of a rough start to my pro career, having to get surgery before camp. You got to make the most of it. I thought I did. I thought the first couple games was a little rusty but I keep getting better every game. I thought I was playing pretty well. Unfortunately, another injury occurred. I feel pretty good again, so just looking forward to camp.
On his where his success started with the Phantoms.
I think it was a matter of just getting my first goal and stuff, so I felt like I was playing really well. I just kind of wasn’t getting the bounces my way. I just figured keep working at it, keep playing hard and doing the right things it’s going to come. I think that’s kind of what happened. I think you kind of get confidence from that and once you start getting confidence, then it starts rolling. I think from that aspect, it was kind of just keep working hard and doing the right things. The good bounces will come.
On his takeaways from his NHL stint, and if he was hampered at that point with the injury.
Yeah, I think the biggest thing is probably just the speed, the pace of play, decision-making and kind of knowing what your next play is before you get the puck. I think that’s probably my biggest takeaway is just trying to see the play before it happens. Obviously, all the good players are good there. They’re going to make you better and you can’t really get away from that. I think that’s probably my biggest takeaway.
On advice from this season that stuck with him,
Guys are telling me they needed guys play good defensively. They said they were struggling on the defensive side of the puck and that’s kind of where I saw myself. If that’s what it took, that’s what I have to do. I have to play strong defensively, do all the right things in the D-zone, kind of be unselfish and let the other guys get all the points. Whatever it takes to get to the NHL, you’re willing to do it. I think accepting a role, whatever it be, that’s a huge part of it.
On his injury, if it was nagging or came on suddenly.
It’s kind of all related. It’s kind of been nagging on me for a while, but I was trying to stick through throughout the year and see if it gets better. I think it just kind of got to the point where during that game against Pittsburgh, that’s when I kind of knew. It just kind of shut down from there. That’s what I kind of knew I was just kind of done.
On finally arriving after a tough travel situation.
Yeah, that Friday was a long day and I’m very happy to be here now. I’m glad to join all the guys and be here in Philly.
On his adjustment period to the AHL game.
I would say it took a couple of weeks, maybe a month. Then I felt like comfortable on the ice. I would say a month.
On his intention to stay in North America, after he didn’t get a chance to play in any NHL games last season.
No, I want to give it another shot here in North America and chase my dream to play in the best league in the world. That’s why I’m here, to try to make the team.
On his focus for the offseason.
My main focus was to get faster, my speed. Of course, mobility and getting stronger as well. My main focus was to keep my feet moving.
On his progression and adjustments made as the season went on.
Yeah. As I said earlier, it took a while and then when I felt more comfortable on the ice, I get reward. It was a lot of fun to be out there and be over here in North America.
On his first day of camp.
I was shaking off the frost. Been a couple long days. I did the medicals this morning, so it was shaking off the rust a little bit.
On his first season in North America, and the potential for him being able to play in the same league as his brother Rasmus.
Yeah, that would be very cool to play in the same league as my brother. Hopefully play against each other. I want to chase my dream and be a part of the Flyers. Coming over to North America last year was a big adjustment, language, the size of the rink, everything like that. This year, I feel more comfortable off and on the ice, so it feels good.