Tomorrow, 26 Flyers hopefuls, including the team’s six 2014 draft picks, are set to kick off Development Camp at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. Among the 12 forwards, 13 defenseman, and four goalies attending are well-known prospects Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Scott Laughton, and Shayne Gostisbehere.
All eyes will be on these four over the next week with last month’s NHL Draft and the 2013-2014 season both still fresh in mind.
Selected 17th overall less than two weeks ago, Sanheim will get his first real taste of Flyers hockey during Development Camp.
A two-way player who skates and sees the ice well, the defenseman’s jump from 167th to 53rd on the North American skaters ranking shows a glimpse of Sanheim’s potential as strong blueliner. Ultimately this speedy development was the deciding factor for the Flyers when selecting the 18-year-old.
During his rookie season with the Calgary Hitmen, Sanheim notched six goals and 25 assists over 67 games with a plus-25 rating. He also played on the U-18 Canada World Championship team, being noted as a standout for his solid play.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Morin is a prospect who grabs a lot of attention because of his size and is compared to former Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger time and time again.
Using his large frame to his advantage, Morin is known for his physical play, which accounts for the 121 PIM he accumulated over 54 games with Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL this past season.
Additionally, Morin had seven goals, 24 assists, and a plus-12 rating this year.
Since his selection at 11th overall last year, Morin has worked to develop as a blueliner, placing a strong emphasis on building muscle, fine-tuning his offensive skills, and becoming a better all-around player.
Laughton has been one of the Flyers most talked about prospects over the past few years, especially after suiting up for five games at the start of the 2012-2013 season. Since then, the center has had a lot of success at the junior level with the Oshawa Generals.
The 6-foot-1 forward scored 40 goals and 47 assists in 54 games played with the Generals last year. His competitive nature and grit only adds to his overall game.
While Laughton’s offensive skills are a force to be reckoned with, the forward also has another major quality as a player. Laughton is a leader.
Laughton not only wore the “A” for Oshawa this past season, but he also served as the captain of Team Canada during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, which took place in Sweden this past December and January.
With his multifaceted game, Laughton is definitely a player to watch this upcoming week during camp.
Drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft, Gostisbehere has demonstrated rapid development over the past season, which is why he has decided to forgo his senior year at Union and sign an entry-level contract.
During his 2013-2014 run with the Dutchmen, the 5-foot-11 defenseman tallied nine goals and 25 assists in 42 games.
Gostisbehere led the team to the 2014 NCAA Championship title, contributing one goal and two assists, all with a record plus-seven rating, to defeat Minnesota in the final. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four following the performance.
While on the smaller side, the 21-year-old uses this size to his advantage, especially offensively. He’s not only fast, but also skilled with the puck.
Despite his offensive strengths, Gostisbehere has improved the defensive side of his game since being drafted to become a better-rounded player whose future potential has the Flyers very excited.