After an unsuccessful bid to land a third-line center in free agency Sunday, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is leaning toward using someone in the system for that role.
“I try not to pay attention to that stuff, but it’s nice to hear that he wants to build from within,” Frost said after the Flyers ended their development camp Monday with a three-on-three tournament before a huge crowd in Voorhees. “Hopefully, I can make that jump and prove to them I can play in that spot.”
Frost, drafted in the first round (27th overall) in 2017, is coming off a 112-point season for Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League. The speedy and creative 19-year-old center – he scored three goals and put on a playmaking clinic in Monday’s tournament — is a long shot to make the team in September’s camp. If he doesn’t earn a spot, he will head back to Sault Ste. Marie.
The Toronto-area native was asked if he felt he was ready for the NHL.
“I think so. I think I need to get stronger and I have a big summer ahead of me, so we’ll see when camp rolls around,” he said. “But I think I’ll be ready, yeah.”
In the next two months, the 5-foot-11½, 184-pound Frost will “just work on getting better and enjoy some time at home with my family and friends. I’m going to try to come into camp and show I can make this team.”
Center Mikhail Vorobyev, who had nine goals and 29 points in 58 games with the Phantoms last season, is another player who will go to training camp in September trying to earn a roster spot with the Flyers.
“The coaches will decide. I have to show what I’m capable of,” said the 6-2, 207-pound Vorobyev, 21, a slick passer who has starred for Russia in the World Juniors. He said that he will spend the summer training, and that the camp will show if he belongs.
If the Flyers don’t make any more moves, they figure to have six players battling for the third and fourth center spots in September: Scott Laughton, Jori Lehtera, Jordan Weal, Mike Vecchione, Vorobyev and Frost.
Frost called the development camp fun and said it was “nice to meet some of the new guys, and keep the bonds I already had with some of the other guys.”
Some of the new guys included left winger Joel Farabee and center Jay O’Brien, forwards taken by the Flyers in the first round of the recent NHL draft.
In the wide-open three-on-three tournament, Farabee had four goals, which tied him for second, behind right winger Pascal Laberge (five). O’Brien had three.
“The whole camp was an unbelievable experience for me,” said O’Brien, 18, before taking a flight so he could attend classes Tuesday at Providence College. “As a first-year guy, I just wanted to look up to the older guys and look up to the staff and just be a sponge and learn as much on- and off-ice stuff as I could. I learned a lot and learned how to take care of myself on the ice. I learned about recovery [after an intense workout] and stuff like that. I learned about all aspects. We did a whole session on nutrition and what we should be eating and how much.”
Farabee, 18, said he also learned a lot from his first development camp and forged a bond with the other players.. “You get to meet everybody and build relationships with people.”
He will head home to the Syracuse, N.Y., area for a few days and then attend Boston University.
“I’ll go home and spend the Fourth with my family and then be at BU by the weekend and start classes,” he said. “My first class actually started today and I’ll miss all this week.”
The best part of the camp, he said, was probably the three-on-three competition.
“It was awesome and a lot of fans come out and it was pretty cool to play in front of them,” he said. “It was kind of an end-of-the-week celebration.”