VOORHEES, N.J. – High-round draft pick names like Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster and Samu Tuomaala have garnered much of the attention at the Flyers Development Camp and deservedly so.
After all, there’s a good chance more than one of them will play for the Flyers at some point in the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, every so often, a later-round pick like, say, former fifth-rounder Oskar Lindblom (now with San Jose) comes along and proves most of the scouts wrong.
That mantle in this year’s camp might go to Alex Bump, another fifth-rounder (133rd overall in 2022), who scored two goals in regulation time plus another in the shootout in the camp-closing 5-4 scrimmage win for Team Lindros over Team Clarke on Thursday night at the Flyers Training Center.
Bump, a 20-year-old native of Prior Lake, Minnesota, looks like the type of forward who can use his size (6-0, 200 pounds) to make space for himself.
“He’s one player who has made huge strides from a year ago,” assistant general manager Brent Flahr said after the scrimmage. “Last year he was kind of just this naïve high school kid. He came here after a year in the USHL (United States Hockey League) and he’s put in his time in the offseason wisely.
“So his testing, just talking to the strength guys from last year to this year, he’s one of the most drastically improved players. You can just see it. He’s just stronger on his skates.”
Talent evaluators like former Flyers star John LeClair (recently hired as special advisor to hockey operations) have been impressed.
“His (Bump’s) skating still has to improve a little bit,” Flahr said. “His top-end speed is fine. He just knows how to score. Talking to LeClair earlier, there are guys who can really shoot the puck, but there are guys who can just score. He’s got a knack for that.”
Bump looks like one of those scoring types who the puck seems to follow. That was the case on Thursday night.
With general manager Danny Briere and president of hockey operations Keith Jones watching from upstairs, there’s always a little extra pressure on players such as Bump. But he managed to keep his cool.
“It was just a little bit of nerves but it was just play my game,” Bump said. “I mean I know I can play the sport well. They drafted me for a reason.”
These development camps give a player such as Bump a chance to see where he measures up against the organization’s more touted players.
“It’s a camp to get better and develop. . .I really wasn’t trying to make the team,” he said. “I just want to play the best hockey I can. When it’s my time to make it, I’ll sure be ready I think.
“I’m just trying to get ready for my college (University of Vermont) season. That (the camp performance) definitely gives me a little bit of confidence going in there. Just trying to score some goals and make some plays.
“I’m a young kid still. I probably got a couple more years here (at camp). Like I said, when my time comes, I think I’ll be ready.”
Elliot Desnoyers, also a fifth-round pick, likes some things about Bump’s game.
“Bump’s got that little scoring touch,” Desnoyers said. “He’s always ready to make the best play out there. He’s got a bright future.
“At the end of the day, if you’re on the roster for the camp you have a chance prove yourself. Doesn’t matter what round you are drafted. At the end of the day you have to make your own path.”
>Camp was productive
Flahr said the team overall was pleased with how the camp went.
“Each day kind of had a purpose,” he said. “You could see it kind of transition from the first practice to the second. We tried to throw a lot at these kids.
“They were a little bit nervous early but then they find their groove.”
The assistant GM said Foerster, Andrae and some of the other veterans “did a really good job.”
Flahr said he was pleased to see Andrae working with some NHL players. He’s been over in Sweden in some of his previous years before playing for the Phantoms last year.
“He’s so poised and competitive,” Flahr said. “I think he’ll make a pretty good impression at (training) camp (in September). I think he’s pretty close to challenging for a spot (on the Flyers) full-time. If it were my choice, he would be here.”
Denver Barkey (sprained ankle) and Alex Ciernik (groin) did not play in the scrimmage.