A packed house will greet the Flyers and New York Islanders when they meet in Wednesday night’s rookie game at the Wells Fargo Center.
“It’s a great opportunity for our young guys to play in that atmosphere and gain that experience before we turn the page and go to the main camp,” said Flyers coach Dave Hakstol after the second day of rookie camp Tuesday in Voorhees.
“I think guys are sick of battling against teammates and ready to battle against somebody else,” defenseman Travis Sanheim said.
Tickets were free, but fans had to register online to secure them. They were gobbled up in a couple of hours.
Yes, there is a lot of interest in the Flyers’ impressive group of prospects.
“I’m not too sure of the lineup, but I’ve been looking forward to this ever since draft day,” said Isaac Ratcliffe, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound left winger chosen by the Flyers in the second round (35th overall) in June. “It would be my first time throwing on the Flyers uniform, so I’m pretty excited for it.”
At Tuesday’s session, Ratcliffe was on a line that had four players rotating and included center Morgan Frost and wingers Matt Strome and Maksim Sushko.
All are 18 years old, and all were selected in the first four rounds in June.
Hakstol is still putting together the lineup for the game, but he said Carter Hart and Alex Lyon would divide the goalie duties.
The Flyers’ lineup is expected to feature center Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick in June. The defense should be headed by Sam Morin, Sanheim, and Phil Myers.
German Rubtsov, a center selected in the first round in 2016, Pascal Laberge (second round, 2016), and Nicolas Aube-Kubel (second round, 2014) are also expected to be in the lineup.
The fact that there will be a packed house excites the players.
“If the tickets were sold out so quick, they’re pretty pumped to see us, and we’re pretty pumped to get out there to play in front of them,” Ratcliffe said.
The Flyers will live-stream the game on their website.
After two days of hard practices, numerous drills, and lots of on- and off-ice testing, Hakstol said the rookies welcome a game.
“To be able to clear their minds and have a regular game day should be a productive one,” he said.
Based on Tuesday’s practice, Patrick will likely center Connor Bunnaman and Aube-Kubel on Wednesday. … Morin said his two surgically repaired wrists feel great. “It’s the first time in four years I don’t have pain in my wrists,” he said. … The rookies will have a morning skate Wednesday in Voorhees at 10 o’clock, and the veterans will have an informal practice at the same time on the other sheet of ice.