(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)
A clean slate for the Flyers inches ever so closer as players and prospects arrive back in Philadelphia.
Current players, new additions and young prospects will converge at the Skate Zone in Voorhees in the coming weeks to vie for roster spots as part of the 2017-18 Flyers. With just days until the start of rookie camp on Monday, and veteran training camp set to begin next Friday on Sept. 15, the hype surrounding it grows each day.
First of all, fans will get their first look at this year's second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft, Nolan Patrick, who did not participate in on-ice activities during the team's development camp. Patrick underwent surgery earlier this summer and is expected to be ready to go when camp gets underway. The highly-touted forward should make the final roster and his NHL debut come Oct. 4 in San Jose when the regular season commences.
On top of seeing Patrick hit the ice, fans and Flyers brass will once again get to see many of their top prospects battle for roster spots.
The team's need for defensemen is crucial, so the case may be that more defensive prospects make the team as compared to forwards. However, lots of questions remained to be answered. Headlining the group of young defensive prospects are Sam Morin, Philippe Myers and Travis Sanheim, while the forwards feature Patrick, Morgan Frost, German Rubtsov and Oskar Lindblom.
With an extremely talented skater pool, Philadelphia also has a strong goalie pipeline that will most likely be showcased during camp as well. Top goaltending prospect, Carter Hart will attend camp, but has another year of juniors still ahead of him before professional action comes calling.
With the Flyers signing Brian Elliott to complete the tandem with Michal Neuvirth, goalies Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon are likely headed to the Phantoms after another camp with the Flyers. One of them could see time with the big club this season if the tandem of Neuvirth and Elliott sees injury get in the way.
The Flyers are full of young talent as well as returning players. Skill levels of all likes will come together in the near future as the newest season of NHL hockey approaches. Training camp along with preseason matchups will determine who hits the ice when the Flyers take on the Sharks in their regular season opener.
And the anticipation for that couldn't get much greater as the final days without hockey pass by.