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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, 09.04.2013 / 5:32 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter

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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. MacDonald 1 1 0 1 1
S. Hartnell 1 0 1 1 1
K. Timonen 1 0 0 -2 0
V. Lecavalier 1 0 0 0 0
A. Hall 1 0 0 0 0
M. Streit 1 0 0 0 0
B. Coburn 1 0 0 -2 0
N. Grossmann 1 0 0 0 0
C. Giroux 1 0 0 1 0
J. Voracek 1 0 0 0 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Emery 0 1 0 .889 4.00
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