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Bobby Brink joins Flyers at practice, will make NHL debut Tuesday in D.C.

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Philadelphia Flyers right winger Bobby Brink was all smiles at his first NHL practice Monday. Photo: Zack Hill.

Bobby Brink’s arrival brought excitement Monday to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Training Center.

You could feel it when the players enthusiastically tapped their sticks on the ice as Brink directed stretches toward the end of their practice in Voorhees.

You could hear it in the voices of interim coach Mike Yeo and defenseman Cam York when they later talked about Brink joining the team Monday.

You could understand the emotion when Brink talked about the “whirlwind” of activity that led to him reaching the NHL.

Brink, 20, who signed an entry-level deal Sunday, practiced with the Flyers on Monday and will make his NHL debut Tuesday in Washington.

The Philadelphia Flyers are 2-1 against the Capitals this season.

“I’m excited to see him make his NHL debut,” Yeo said. “Obviously we’ve had a few of those lately, and not only have those kids gotten a chance to play, but they’ve come in and played quite well. Obviously a real good thing for our organization going forward.”

Brink’s parents and his brother were in Boston to watch the forward’s University of Denver team win the NCAA national title over Minnesota State, 5-1, on Saturday. They will all be at the game Tuesday.

His first game is against a 36-year-old legend named Alex Ovechkin.

“It’s pretty special. I mean, I grew up watching him,” Brink said. “He was one of my favorite players growing up. I watched a lot of Capitals games, so it’s definitely pretty cool.”

Brink said “the biggest goal is obviously to win the game, and, personally, just to be confident, work hard, and I think that’s all you can ask for.”

Flyers fans should get their first in-person look at the former University of Denver star against the New York Rangers on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Brink, drafted in the second round in 2019, led the nation in scoring (57 points) and assists (43) this season and helped Denver win its first NCAA title Saturday since 2017. On Sunday, he signed a three-year, entry level deal with the Flyers that carries an annual cap hit of $925,000.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s been great,” said Brink, who called Tuesday a “dream come true” to make his debut. “Obviously, to win a national championship was really special, and then to come here was really cool as well. It’s the best way you can go out — winning with your best friends and guys you’ve gotten so close to over the years. It was awesome. It was one of the best moments of my life.”

At Monday’s practice, Brink played right wing on the second line, which had Travis Konecny at left wing and Scott Laughton at center. He was also on the top power-play unit with Kevin Hayes, Konecny, Joel Farabee, and Travis Sanheim/Ivan Provorov.

Farabee was back at practice Monday after missing Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Anaheim because of the flu. He was on the top line with Hayes and Cam Atkinson.

The third line had Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Owen Tippett, and the fourth line had Nate Thompson centering Noah Cates and a combination of either Patrick Brown or Oskar Lindblom.

After practice, Yeo said he was still tinkering with the lines, and made it sound as if he would flip-flop Brink and Tippett from their practice units.

Brink (5-9, 166) “has the potential” to some day have success like another diminutive Flyer, Cam Atkinson (5-8, 176), Yeo said.

Players who have a small stature “have to work extremely hard, which you see with Cam and the way he plays the game,” Yeo said. “And No. 2, you have to be able to think the game. And again, with Cam, that’s so (true). There are a lot of similarities there, no question. Cam’s getting ready to play in his 700th game (Tuesday); he’s been doing it for a lot of years in the league, so there’s a lot of time between now and then for a young player like Bobby Brink. But (Atkinson) is certainly a good role model for him, and no question we’re rally excited about his potential.”

Smaller players need to “be able to think the game, and you have to be competitive,” Yeo said. “And from I’ve heard and what I’ve seen so far, he (Brink) seems to have those two qualities.”

Yeo called Brink a “character kid” and said one of his first memories of the winger was watching him block shots while on the penalty kill in a World Junior tournament game. “Doing whatever he could do to help the team win,” Yeo said.

Breakaways

Carter Hart, who has allowed 19 goals over the last four games, will get the call in Washington. … At practice, Sanheim was on the top defensive pairing with Provorov. The other pairings: York and Rasmus Ristolainen, and Kevin Connauton and Ronnie Attard. Like the lines, Yeo said he wasn’t sure if he would make changes to the pairings Tuesday. … Atkinson is banged up “and tired both mentally and physically, but he was feeling better today and able to get through practice with no problem,” said Yeo, who may give the veteran a breather down the road.

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