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Testwuide is a Flyer-type of player

Monday, 07.12.2010 / 3:30 PM ET / News
By Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com
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Testwuide is a Flyer-type of player
Mike Testwuide sees himself as a prototypical Flyers player -- big, skilled and nasty.

"To me, being a Flyer is that extra effort, the extra work ethic," he told NHL.com. "Maybe a little bit more physical play. It's toughness on and off the ice, mentally and physically."

Toughness is something that won't be a problem for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right wing, who will have a chance to compete for a job with the club in training camp.

In four years at Colorado College, Testwuide combined offense with toughness, scoring a team-best 21 goals in 39 games last season. His 31 points was second on the team.
Flyers prospect Mike Testwuide forges ahead in a kayak during the annual "Trial on the Isle" in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. (Flyers Photos)

"This year in college I showed that I am a little more dynamic than a typical big power forward," he said. "I have some skill, I can bury the puck when needed. I scored some goals and showed I'm a little more of a dynamic player."

He also likes to throw his body around, something he'll have far more freedom to do in the professional ranks than he did in college.

"I think it'll be a quick adjustment," Testwuide said. "Half-shields, fighting, that's all stuff that comes with the game. In college it's kind of frustrating when you can't do that stuff and you have to hold yourself back. If you're playing in pros or junior, you don't really have to hold yourself back from that stuff and it comes naturally. I don't think it'll be a hard adjustment. I'm going to definitely have to raise that part of my game."

He also says that's not the only part.

"I think I really have to step up my physical game and my defensive play and my work in the corners," he said. "Just getting the puck to the net, keeping my game as simple as possible, getting pucks to the net, chipping it out. … Working hard and raising my physical play."

Colorado College coach Scott Owens said he has no doubt Testwuide will make every adjustment needed, starting with getting reacquainted with NHL-size ice -- CC's home rink is international-sized.

"There's more room for improvement in the physical part of his game," Owens told NHL.com. "If he's making two or three hits a game, he can make four or five hits a game. He can use his body to shield the puck a little more. We played on an Olympic sheet, so it’s a bit of a different deal. He's got to continue to work on that stuff, wall play. Mostly, just being a little more physical to make it to the NHL.

"He's a smart guy, so he'll figure things out. … He's smart enough to know what he needs to do to get there."

The Flyers like what they've seen so far, and have high hopes for the future.

"As a group we maybe thought we had Mike Knuble here," Flyers Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor told NHL.com. "We're hoping Michael, maybe down the road, that's the type of player he can be. They're good down low in front of the net, work the wall, work the corner. We think he's got potential to be that type of guy."

"I think for a big guy like he is, he's heavy but he moves really well, and he's got some skills," added Kevin Marshall, a defenseman who battled Testwuide at the team's recent prospect camp. "He's not just banging around and looking for hits and stuff, he's a pretty good player. I was impressed … Even though he's big, he's still hard to hit. He's really agile for his size, he moves well on the ice. He's quick. I think he's a pretty good player."

At 23, Testwuide is one of the older players in the prospect camp, and this year's edition was his fourth, after trying out for Washington and Montreal. The Vail, Colorado native didn't find much success there, but that should change now.

"If you asked all the kids who have been through the camps, they have a better feel than they did in the first camp," Pryor said. "He's older, been through this before, and that's a good thing. To go along with the college environment and the makeup he's had and been through this, he knows the importance of taking care of himself and you can tell."

Even though the Flyers seem to have a logjam at forward, Testwuide's low salary, size, maturity and skill level make him an interesting option.

"You look at the board right now, and there are opportunities on the team," Pryor said. "We'll see what happens. We all like his potential."

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