NEW YORK – Morgan Frost came into training camp with high hopes of contending for a job with the Flyers at the tender age of 19.
Those hopes were dashed on Tuesday when the center was sent back to his junior team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, after playing just one preseason game.
General manager Ron Hextall explained that Frost, a first-round pick (27th overall) in the 2017 draft, still has a lot of work to do.
“There has to be more maturity in his game and it wasn’t there,’’ Hextall said before the game against the Islanders at the Barclays Center. “It was pretty obvious, not only in the game, but in practice, that he wasn’t ready for this.
“He’s 19 years old. We told him today it (a demotion) is not a crime at 19.’’
Frost apparently took the news well, asking Hextall what he needed to improve in his game.
“He asked some questions,’’ Hextall said. “He seemed fine.’’
Hextall felt like he had seen enough of Frost to make a decision.
“We watch practices hard,’’ Hextall said. “Every day matters. If you can’t keep up or you lose pace, it’s time. It was pretty obvious, it was an easy decision. That’s not a knock. He’s a typical 19-year-old kid.’’
Also sent back was winger Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph, OHL).
Frost and Ratcliffe were the last two remaining junior players on the roster, which is now down to 52 players.
It’s Vorobyev, with an “E’’
After much discussion, Flyers prospect Mikhail Vorobyev says the proper final syllable of his name should be spelled “Yev’’, not “Yov.’’ Somehow, it has only taken two years for the Flyers to get the proper spelling.
Hextall has been impressed with the Russian’s play.
“He had a good year last year,’’ Hextall said. “He worked hard this summer. It’s showing right now. He’s hungry to make this team, he’s fighting to make this team. Good for him. That’s what we want to see.’’
Patrick picks up where he left off
Nolan Patrick’s excellent second half to the 2017-18 season didn’t come as any great surprise.
Not if you recall he played the first half still recovering from the second of two abdominal surgeries, the last coming just months before the start of the campaign.
In this season’s training camp, Patrick looks like he’s ready to pick up where he left off last year. His skating is up to speed and he looks like the player the Flyers used their No. 2 overall draft pick on in 2017.
Coach Dave Hakstol has big plans for Patrick, lining him up in the middle of a second line with newly acquired James van Riemsdyk on his left flank and Jake Voracek on his right.
This unit has the potential to do some damage. Both JVR and Voracek are coming off career years, with the former recording a career-high 36 goals and the latter a career-high 86 points.
“It was a good summer for being able to train for a full summer,’’ said Patrick, mindful of being less than full strength for much of the previous offseason. “It feels good to be back.’’
As is the case with most offensive players, speed is a key ingredient. That’s why skating at full strength is so important.
“Obviously it’s huge,’’ Patrick said. “Coming into camp off of surgery like last year, you’re not going to feel 100 percent feel yourself. Now I’m excited to get going here.’’