One week from today, the Philadelphia Flyers will have played actual hockey games. Rookie games aren’t the real deal but they are competitive games against other people in other jerseys.
That means the Flyers’ organizational process and evaluations will have intensified. How do the rookies and prospects look against another team’s rookies and prospects?
The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers rookies will compete in next weekend’s Rookie Series at the PPL Center in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The Flyers’ roster for the two-game series hasn’t been released. It will be interesting to see who’s going and who isn’t. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m., and Saturday’s game is at 5:05 p.m. Saturday’s game is on NBC Sports Philadelphia+.
Bjarnason in Camp?
Second-round draft pick Carson Bjarnason, a goalie for the Brandon Wheat Kings, reportedly will be in Flyers’ rookie camp, according to The Brandon Sun.
“Obviously I have to go in with the mindset that I’m going to try to play there,” Bjarnason told the Manitoba newspaper. “Realistically, I’m going to be back here [in Brandon] for a couple of years. There are signings and stuff that do go on and it’s your stairway to the NHL, so I want to prove I can play and keep up with those guys.”
He was drafted 51st overall in June after the Flyers traded up with the Blackhawks to select him.
If Bjarnason plays in the Rookie Series, it would be interesting to see him against his peers from another NHL team. Scouts consider Bjarnason a future NHL goaltender. He was NHL Central Scouting’s No. 1-ranked North American goaltender last season.
The Flyers swept last year’s Rookie Series with 2-1 (OT) and 5-1 victories, the wins not as important as the players who were on the ice.
Sam Ersson was in goal for Game 2. Noah Cates scored in Game 1 and Tyson Foerster won it in overtime. Olle Lycksell scored in both games.
Cates went on to establish himself as an everyday NHL player. Ersson and Foerster worked their way from the rookie games to playing time with the Flyers. Lycksell will push for a roster spot this season.
Foerster should make the Flyers’ opening night roster. Ersson, who recently signed a two-year, $2.9 million contract extension, could be one of the Flyers’ goaltenders in Columbus on Oct. 12.
When there’s been that kind of development, it adds weight to the rookie games. Which players show that kind of potential? Which players need more seasoning? Hockey fans are ready for the action … and the players are, too.
Enjoy the Eagles’ opening game this afternoon, for all who celebrate …
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