First-round draft picks Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny were trying to make lasting first impressions during the Flyers Development Camp held in the second week of July.
However, neither highly-touted player was trying to earn a job with the parent club. Both agreed they will worry about that in the second week of September.
“The goal of this camp is not about trying to make the Flyers,” said Konecny, a forward, who the Flyers traded up five spots to select at No. 24 in last month’s draft. “That happens in September at training camp. The goal here is to continue to develop as a player.”
Each player felt he left camp a better player than when he arrived and thought the camp was an excellent introduction to professional hockey.
“It’s been great,” said Provorov, a defenseman, who was taken with the No. 7 overall pick. “The speed of the game is pretty fast but this camp is only going to help us get better. It’s been a lot of work and a good week.”
For five days, players were put through a series of drills that tested every aspect of their game. Keeping with the theme of the camp, though, it was more about instruction and teaching from the coaching staff rather than evaluating.
The camp roster, which included 33 players, consisted of 24 guys the team has drafted in the last four years.
“It’s highly skilled here,” said Konecny, who signed a three-year entry level deal last Thursday. “We are all on the same level. There are guys here that have played at many different levels. It’s good to play against them and try and raise my game to the next level.”
At the conclusion of the camp, players got a good idea of where they stood among their peers and what areas they need to improve. They have just two short months until they must report back for training camp.
“I think I am going to work on everything,” said Provorov, who planned to return to Russia until the fall. “I think I am a complete player so I just want to work on every aspect of my game and once we get into September I need to get used to the speed of play.”
The camp wasn’t limited to just time on the ice, either.
As they do every year, the camp shifted to Stone Harbor for one day for Trial on the Isle. The players participated in random camaraderie activities on the beach and in the water.
“It was great to get down there,” Konecny said. “When we came in on Tuesday (the first day), a lot of us didn’t know each other. After spending the day on the beach together, we bonded well. And it was a lot of fun and we did things that I have never done before.”
It was also a chance for both of the rookies to get an up close look at the fan base – and vice versa.
“Before I came here I always knew Philly fans were crazy,” Provorov said. “I got to witness that (down at the beach and even here at the rink). I am happy they love hockey. It’s only July and they are crazy about it so that is good.”