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ROOKIE CAMP: FIVE TO WATCH

Aside from Scott Laughton, here's the next five players to keep an eye on this week.

Wednesday, 09.4.2013 / 5:32 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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ROOKIE CAMP: FIVE TO WATCH

For all intents and purposes it’s hockey season. Yes, training camp is still a little more than a week away but starting tomorrow, the Flyers prospects arrive for the start of rookie camp.

Rookie camp is just that – rookie camp – and very few participants ever really get a shot with the big club in the following weeks.

This year, we all know Scott Laughton is one of those unique cases, and he will, in fact, be one of those rare breeds who takes part in rookie camp and then makes a push for the big club in the September weeks that follow.

We’ve seen it in recent years with the Flyers with Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk. Now, it’s Laughton’s turn.

But what of the rest of these prospects? Who are the ones fans venturing over to Skate Zone in the next few days should keep a close eye on?

Here’s a list of five – all of whom should start the season with the Phantoms and all of whom could be called into service during the next season or two.

Offensive wiz Petr Straka could end up being a steal for the Flyers if he figures out the defensive parts of his game.

1. Petr Straka, forward – Straka could be the most intriguing player in the rookie camp. An offensive dynamo out of the Quebec League, the 21-year-old Czech forward can light up the scoreboard – but he’s lacking on the other end of the ice, and he admits that’s how he was taught to play the game as a kid. Nevertheless, his offensive skill set was too much to pass up on, and the Flyers were quick to pounce after his NHL rights that were owned by the Columbus Blue Jackets expired. Columbus had drafted him in the second round (No. 55 overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but never signed him. He was worth the gamble for the Flyers and now they hope that gamble pays off.

2. Marcel Noebels, forward – No matter what level he’s played at, Noebels has been productive offensively. Over the past three seasons in the WHL, ECHL and AHL, Noebels has played in 202 games and has posted 165 points. A fourth round pick by the Flyers in the 2011 draft (No. 118 overall) Noebels has steadily made his climb and may not be far from getting his first taste of NHL action as an injury call-up this season).

3. Nick Cousins, forward – His junior career now over, it’s time to see what Cousins can do during an extended period of time in pro hockey. Almost a surefire bet to start the season with the Adirondack Phantoms, Cousins has been considered an NHL-caliber prospect for a couple years now. Coming off an incredible season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds where he posted 103 points, Cousins, who projects as a top nine forward in the NHL, will finally get to develop his pesky style in a professional environment.

4. Maxim Lamarche, defenseman – Lamarche came into his own in his final junior season at Baie-Comeau (where he was Straka’s teammate) and now has some Flyers front office folks excited for the season to come. Lamarche is big and solid physically and has a nice, two-way game that makes him both responsible in his own end while being a regular contributor on offense. The Flyers have had a lot of success with undrafted free agents, and Lamarche may just end up being another one.

5. Mark Alt, defenseman – If there’s anyone in rookie camp who you look at and say, yeah, he’s got an NHL body, it’s Alt.

It wouldn't be a surprise if Mark Alt got a callup to the big club as an injury replacement this season.

Big, strong, a good skater, and good puck skills have Alt venturing into the “next generation” conversation with the Flyers future defensive corps that also includes names like Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere. It shouldn’t be taken lightly that Alt gave up his senior season at the University of Minnesota to join the Flyers organization for this season. The defensive cupboard is pretty stocked down on the farm right about now.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 49 16 27 -3 43
J. Voracek 49 8 33 3 41
W. Simmonds 49 18 16 -4 34
B. Schenn 47 14 15 -1 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
S. Gostisbehere 31 8 16 4 24
M. Read 48 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 49 4 10 -6 14
M. Raffl 49 6 6 4 12
M. Del Zotto 47 3 9 -8 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 12 6 .916 2.71
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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