Defenseman Ronnie Attard will be among the promising prospects on display as the Philadelphia Flyers’ development camp ends Friday with a three-on-three tournament in Voorhees.
It’s free and open to the public, and runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Attard had a 15-game stint with the Flyers late last season, collecting four points (two goals, two assists) and a minus-2 rating.
“I think those 15 games helped me tremendously with my confidence and learning from those guys there,” said Attard, a former Western Michigan standout, after a session Thursday at the Flyers Training Center. “As each game went on, I felt more comfortable.”
He was minus-9 in his first six games, plus-7 in his last nine contests.
“The last five games there, I think I settled in real well, I was starting to understand when to jump (into the play), and when not to,” he said.
Attard’s time as an NHL regular will come, but he needs more pro experience, more seasoning.
This is just Attard’s second development camp because of the COVID outbreak two years ago and an early college schedule in 2021.
“My last development camp, I was a shy little kid, a lot smaller then,” he said. “I was just taking it all in Now it’s great to be able to be here with these guys, make them feel welcome and share some of my knowledge and experience with them.”
Attard, 23, has gotten stronger through off-season workouts.
“So far, I feel I’m right on track,” he said. “I’ve continued to gain strength, and now it’s just the speed aspect of it. I feel really good and really strong. I’m excited for the next couple months here.”
In late April, the Flyers signed Attard to a two-year, entry level deal ($883,750 annual cap hit) that began last season.
That was after a terrific career at Western Michigan, one in which he had 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 94 games. In his final season, he ranked third in the nation in points (36) by an NCAA defenseman.
Attard, a Michigan native, was drafted by the Flyers in the third round (72nd overall) in 2019. He was part of an impressive draft class that included defenseman Cam York (first round) and right winger Bobby Brink (second round).
York is expected to be a regular this season. Attard may be only a year behind.
Elliot Desnoyers, 20, a relentless left winger, is coming off an 88-point season (42-46) in 61 games in the QMJHL. He said his hip, surgically repaired last year, feels better than ever. Desnoyers tries to model his game after Patrice Bergeron and Sean Couturier. “Really complete players. Really good defensively as well,” he said. … Earlier Friday, defensemen will be on the ice from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.; forwards will have a session from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.