Frost leads the rookie hope­fuls at camp

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Wayne Fish

With a new Fly­ers sea­son just around the cor­ner and a new coach­ing staff in place, there’s a sense that “any­thing’s pos­si­ble’’ per­meat­ing the team’s train­ing cen­ter.

Rookie camp, which of­fi­cially opened Satur­day at the Skate Zone, pro­vides some of that op­ti­mism.

At least a hand­ful of rook­ies — led by de­fense­man Philippe My­ers and for­wards Joel Farabee and Mor­gan Frost — fig­ure to have the best shot at crack­ing the ros­ter.

But cases also could be made for for­wards Mikhail Vorobyev, Ger­man Rubtsov, Isaac Rat­cliffe and Carsen Twaryn­ski.

The Fly­ers of­fi­cially open train­ing camp Fri­day.

Frost, the 20-year-old, 2017 first-round draft pick, looks a lit­tle less wide-eyed than he did this time last year.

Af­ter fail­ing to make the Fly­ers last sea­son, he hardly hung his head, go­ing back to Sault Ste. Marie of the On­tario Hockey League and light­ing up the ju­nior league for 37 goals and 109 points in 58 games.

At Satur­day’s session, Frost was on a line with Farabee and Rat­cliffe. Who knows? This could be a Fly­ers’ line of the fu­ture, maybe sooner than later.

“We’re all good friends off the ice, so it helps with the on-ice chem­istry,’’ said the 6foot, 180-pound na­tive of Aurora, On­tario.

“You’re ob­vi­ously try­ing to do stuff to stick out but if we work well to­gether, I think that shows well in­di­vid­u­ally if we play well.’’

Frost said he worked hard on his speed and strength dur­ing the sum­mer. On his scout­ing re­port, there might have been a ques­tion or two about whether he could hold his ground down low against im­pos­ing NHL­sized de­fense­men.

Hav­ing been around the var­sity team play­ers now for a cou­ple years helps the com­fort level.

“The first camp, I didn’t know what to ex­pect and I was re­ally ner­vous,’’ he said. “By the third year, you know what the grind is go­ing to be like … the prac­tices.

“You’re fa­mil­iar with the staff and a lot of the play­ers here. You’re com­fort­able go­ing out on the ice and do­ing your thing.’’

One gets the feel­ing any­thing less than mak­ing the open­ing night ros­ter for the game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague, Czech Repub­lic, will be a dis­ap­point­ment for Frost.

“If you don’t have that mind­set then you’re do­ing some­thing wrong,’’ he said. “I think you have to be con­fi­dent in your abil­i­ties. I have to come in here and work as hard as I can and see what hap­pens.’’

Phan­toms head coach Scott Gor­don, who is over­see­ing the rookie camp, be­lieves in Frost’s abil­i­ties.

“The one thing I liked about [Satur­day’s] forecheck­ing drills was his pace,’’ Gor­don said. “It was sig­nif­i­cantly more than it was last year. I think that’s en­cour­ag­ing.

“He’s so poised with the puck. Some­times you slow the game down. In ju­nior, you can get away with it — [in the NHL] the next thing you know you’re go­ing to get chased down from be­hind by faster play­ers. That’s one thing that I’m go­ing to keep an eye on. Hope­fully he can have a train­ing camp here and not have it be an is­sue. And maybe that ends up be­ing one of the rea­sons why he ends up play­ing here.’’

For more from Wayne Fish, see fly­ing­fish­


Fly­ers for­ward Mor­gan Frost at Fly­ers rookie camp on Satur­day.

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