They all start out this way — from the greats, to the average, to the not-so-greats. Where they go from here is pretty much up to them.
With former Flyers Derian Hatcher, Kjell Samuelsson, Riley Cote and newly named Director of Player Development Ian Laperriere on hand to offer their services, the Flyers opened up prospects camp this week. They are hoping this first step paves the way for the next generation of Orange and Black.
“I told them, ‘Boys we’ve got over 5,000 NHL games in this room, so if you leave with questions it’s your fault because we’re here for you,” said Laperriere after yesterday’s workouts. “They need to come up to us and we’ll teach them stuff on the ice that usually they don’t work on during the season. It’s July 10th. Nobody is going to win or lose a job today.”
The kids already appreciate the veteran advice.
“You can learn a lot from the guys that are here,” said defenseman Brandon Manning, who played four games last season due to injuries. “A guy like Derian Hatcher, who played in the league for so long, he’s talking to you and teaching you something. Hopefully that will pay off when September comes for main camp.”
As for center Scott Laughton, still basking in the aura of being their No. 1 pick, the whole thing has been a real eye-opener.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” admitted the 18-year-old Laughton. “You don’t really know what to expect. Then you go out on the ice and Ian Laperriere is running the drills. It’s just an unbelievable experience.”
So when the real fun begins, in September, it won’t seem so strange.
Get ready …
The Flyers announced they’ll open the preseason at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 25 vs. the team that knocked them off two years ago to win the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks. They’ll also host the Rangers Sept. 29 and Devils Oct. 1 on the eight-game schedule.