VOORHEES – “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm’’ was a song about young soldiers from American rural areas who got a taste of Paris during World War I and found it tough to go back to the slow life when the conflict ended.
That little ditty might sort of apply to Flyers rookie Joel Farabee if he gets a formidable stay in Philadelphia.
The former 2018 first-round (14th overall) draft pick decided to leave the Boston University program after one season to take a crack at the NHL.
Farabee probably wouldn’t have made such a move if he didn’t think his odds of making it in the pro ranks at age 19 weren’t pretty good.
And so it will be interesting to see if the Cicero, N.Y. native can duplicate what Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny did at a similar age a few years back.
One thing is almost certain: If Farabee lights it up at a wing position in the preseason, it’s going to be hard to send him back to the “farm.’’
It all starts with this rookie training camp. Then things intensify when the main training camp gets going on Friday. Right now he’s taking it a day at a time.
“The first two days are sort of like systems stuff,’’ he said after practice at the Skate Zone. “We’re just getting comfortable playing with each other and getting ready for the game Wednesday (the rookie game against the New York Islanders at PPL Center in Allentown).
“The pace has been good and the guys are kind of feeding off each other.’’
To accent Farabee’s expectation level, he spent the summer in the Philadelphia area. After attending the July development camp, he stayed here to concentrate on his workout program.
“I feel more comfortable than I probably would have if I hadn’t stayed here,’’ said Farabee, who’s listed at 6-foot-0, 171 pounds. “I was just trying to build strength and put on as much weight as I can without being too much weight for my body to handle.’’
Farabee posted nearly a point per game for the Terriers last season (36 points in 37 games). The Flyers scouts like what they’ve seen so far.
Phantoms coach Scott Gordon, who oversees the rookie camp, is a big believer in Farabee’s talent.
Because there are some openings on the lower lines, don’t bet against Farabee making the opening night roster in Prague, Czech Republic against the Chicago Blackhawks.
While his natural position is left wing, Farabee has been getting some playing time on the right side during camp. Maybe just an experiment to see if he can fill a specific vacancy.
Gordon says versatility can be a positive when it comes to having value in the long run.
“I think it benefits every player to be multi-faceted,’’ Gordon said. “Like I once had a conversation with a first-round draft pick (during his coaching days with the Islanders). He was a left winger.
“I said to him, ‘I know you want more ice time but we have two guys on the left side that are in front of you. We need a first-line right winger.’ He said, ‘no, I’m not a right winger.’
“If you have that mindset, you might lose an opportunity to play more minutes or have a bigger role with the team.’’
At this point, Farabee will take whatever he can get. He doesn’t want to even think about going back to the farm.