Adirondack Phantoms broadcaster Bob Rotruck is
in Voorhees, New Jersey this week covering the
2012 Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Camp. Follow
along as he keeps us updated with plenty of videos,
interviews, pics and other observations.
More fun at Prospect Camp today in Voorhees,
NJ. This was Day 2 and it looked like a fairly
hard session for the boys as best I could tell.
Good workouts for everyone all gathering in the
same place for a solid week in July. There's only
so much you can accomplish when it's just one
or two guys skating together...or even 6 or 7
guys. When it's a whole team thing with the Flyers
instructors mixing up the drills AND pushing you
then it just takes on a different feel and it
all undoubtedly seems more productive.
After the practice I was talking with a few of
the Phantoms guys whose lockers are all together
in the same corner. And then it occured to me
that we had a quality photo shot right there.
The players pulled over Jason Akeson whose locker
is on the other side of the room from the rest
of these Phantoms players for some reason (you
know we love you Jason).
I think it's a definite winner. Left to right
are Jason Akeson, Tye McGinn, Luke Pither, Tyler
Brown and Shane Harper.
Now onto the videos.
This stick-handling drill with the players going
back and forth for awhile will sure put a strain
on the wrists.
This was Tye McGinn's turn at the end of the
drill. Jason Akeson does a really good job of
counting and laughing at him.
And here's Shane Harper showing off his moves
And now a couple of interviews catching up with
Shane Harper and Jason Akeson after the long practice
Okay, got battery power again. Here are some
more videos from the 2012 Flyers Prospect Camp
with a quick Q&A with Nick Cousins on his
time with the Phantoms and also a "media
scrum" with Brandon Manning (where all the
reporters gather around and ask their questions
in a big huddle).
There were about 15 or so different media members
there covering the camp from newspaper to radio
and TV to little, old me poking my head in and
saying Hi. It's a relaxed atmosphere but it's
also somewhat serious stuff too. These beat-reporters
for the Philadelphia Flyers know that some of
the next Flyers regulars in years to come are
at this camp right now. So getting to meet Oliver
Lauridsen, Brandon Manning and Nick Cousins before
any of them have made it to the big-time and are
in the process of trying to do so becomes a pretty
Lots of focus naturally on the top two Flyers
picks from last month's 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
It was Scott Laughton's first run on the Flyers'
ice and everyone was paying extra-close attention
to the 20th overall pick in the draft who scored
21 goals and 32 assists for the Oshawa Generals
last year. Sean Couturier was similarly watched
closely at this very time last year. Laughton
is not eligible to come to the Phantoms from Canadian
Major Juniors because he is only 18. So for him,
if he doesn't make the Philadelphia Flyers roster,
he will be sent back to Major Juniors for another
season of tearing it up in the OHL.
Anthony Stolarz was Philadelphia's second-round
draft choice although it was not his first time
at the Skate Zone facility in Voorhees. Stolarz
is from Jackson, New Jersey (he grew up a Devils
fan but we'll let that slide) and he had been
to Voorhees for a tournament before. He put up
great numbers as a goalie in Tier-I juniors (lower
than Canadian Major Juniors) playing for the Corpus
Christi IceRays all the way down in Corpus Christi,
Texas. He's a big 6'5" goalie who is committed
to playing NCAA hockey this year with the University
of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
So obviously those are the guys being grabbed
by the reporters. But there are stories everywhere.
I think Brandon Manning's is worth following very
closely. Plus, we know him up in Glens Falls AND
he could be coming back to the Phantoms this year.
He could also have a shot of making the Flyers
out of training-camp in September. And if not
then he will be coming back to the Phantoms with
a very good chance at getting another call-up
at some point during the season.
Brandon Manning had an interesting season last
year. All spring and summer spent rehabbing and
was in Voorhees for WAY too long once the season
started because he was still getting healthy.
So yeah, he knows his way around town and how
to get from the team hotel to the Olive Garden
up the street. He was here for quite awhile just
training and working on his hip and getting better.
Finally, by December, he was ready to join the
Adirondack Phantoms although he still wasn't 100%
healthy. But at least he was playing in games
and he was getting better all the time.
Manning has a big shot and plays well on the
power play. He also has a really good, feisty
streak in him and seems to always pick good times
to display it. He's young but he also has some
good leadership qualities that you can immediately
tell just by talking to him. He was the captain
of his Major Juniors team, the Chilliwack Bruins
in the WHL. He played in 46 games with Adirondack
(because he missed the first two months) and scored
six goals and 13 assists. But in March it was
an even bigger deal when he received his first
callup to the NHL and got action in four games
with the Flyers. Philly had a number of injuries
on their blue-line last year and when Kimmo Timonen
couldn't go, he had been playing extremely well
so was called on and did great after getting the
butterflies out of his system.
He is one of the "veterans" at the
Prospect Camp at 21 years old and is the only
player in camp who has played in the NHL which
makes him a guy to look up to especially by the
I'm coming to you live from Voorhees, New Jersey
and it's back to hockey-mode for a few days for
this week's Prospect Camp.
43 of the top, young prospects in the Philadelphia
Flyers organziation are all converging onto the
Philadelphia area this week to take part in the
2012 Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Camp. It's at
the Flyers Virtua Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ which
is also where the big team trains and practices
throughout the season.
There are a lot of players from last year's Adirondack
Phantoms team here. Among them are Jason Akeson,
Shane Harper, Brandon Manning, Oliver Lauridsen,
Tye McGinn, Tyler Brown, Blake Kessel, Luke Pither
just to name a few. And these guys are actually
the OLD-timers of the group! There are plenty
of 17 and 18 year olds in the camp as well as
some 20-somethings who are looking to join the
Phantoms roster this October. For some players
like McGinn and Pither, this is their third or
fourth Prospect Camp believe it or not.
Busy day. And the coaches ran them pretty hard
in the different practice sessions. With 43 players,
they need to divide it up into two groups. 21
players on the ice at a time is okay. 43 players
is way too crowded and unmanageable. So the first
group went from 9:00 to 10:30 and then the second
group went from 10:30 to 12:00.
Kind of funny getting into hockey-mode in July.
But I can roll with it.
Nice to go up to some of the players I know from
last season and say hello and catch up a little
bit. I'm sure they were kind of surprised to see
me here! I also got to meet some of the new guys
including a few players who could very well be
with the Phantoms this season. One such guy is
Cal Heeter from the Ohio State Buckeyes. He's
a talented goalie whose hometown is St. Louis
who could very well coming to ADK along with Finland
goalie Niko Hovinen (who is not taking part in
I took a handful of videos this morning to help
give everyone a feel for the whole thing. Some
were on the ice of the various drills. Others
were back in the interview area in the locker
Here's a convo I had with big Phantoms D-Man
Oliver Lauridsen who got back into the country
a few days ago to get ready for the camp.
There's more to come so stay tuned. Right now,
the battery on my video-camera died and I can't
upload anymore until I get it charged up. But
I got in there to say hello to guys like Brandon
Manning, Cal Heeter and Nick Cousins so I will
get those on this page when I can.
I guess one impression I have from my first time
attending this is how young some of these players
are. My gosh. Some of these 18 year olds who sometimes
look even younger than that. We're talking 1994
birthdates on the roster. (ummm, I had already
graduated college. Oh geez am I old).
It's a big-time experience especially for them
just to be working in the same facility and sharing
the same lockers as guys like Claude Giroux and
Scott Hartnell. You can tell that some of the
fresher faces have kind of "deer in the headlights"
and are just trying to get acclimated to playing
here for the big team in front of the Philadelphia
Flyers brass who are always watching from their
That's actually where guys like Jason Akeson
and Brandon Manning come in. They've been there.
Now they're 21 or 22 which is actually older by
this group's standards. And the younger kids look
up to them just to see where they're supposed
to be going at whatever time and how it's supposed
Manning especially draws that attention. Because
he's the only one in this year's camp who has
played in the NHL. The Prince George, BC native
played in four games for the Flyers late last
season after he was finally getting fully healthy.
Last year at this time it was guys like Matt
Read, Brayden Schenn and Sean Courturier who were
lighting it up in this camp on their way to all
having impressive seasons with the Flyers. Others
in the camp last year included Erik Gustafsson,
Eric Wellwood, Harry Zolnierczyk, Zac Rinaldo.
That's a pretty impressive list of talent who
went straight from the camp to making the Flyers
team that very season and playing key roles.
Most of the guys in the camp this year are anywhere
from two to maybe five years or more away from
being ready to play for Philadelphia. That's how
young they are. But there are definitely a few
at the top of the bunch who can help their chances
of making the Flyers this year with a strong showing
in camp. A guy like Manning who has actually been
there already is certainly one of those players.
More videos later, here are a few pics that I
also posted on the team's twitter page: