VOORHEES, N.J. — Players were skating casually and flipping innocuous shots on net as an afternoon session of Flyers development camp was coming to a close.
Joel Farabee, the 14th overall pick in last week's NHL draft known for a sharp shot, wasn't quite satisfied with his performance during a shooting drill, so he found Scott Gordon.
The Phantoms' head coach offered a few extra pointers and then Farabee shook his hand. On his first day hitting the ice as a Flyers prospect, this was a snapshot of the 18-year-old as a player — talented enough to headline the club's 2018 draft class but just as hungry and respectful as the rest.
"I think the whole part of this camp is to learn as much as you can," Farabee said. "I'm definitely going to college next year, but I've got to learn a lot to make it to the next level, so I'm just trying to get as much information as I can to be a better player and see what I can do."
Farabee, a left winger out of the USA National Team Development Program, showed what he could do last season, recording 33 markers and 76 points in 62 games. He also showed some of his skills Thursday, along with 29 other players, to open up the organization's annual gathering of prospects.
"He can score goals, he can skate, he has a lot of good components," Flyers player development coach Kjell Samuelsson said. "Like everybody else in that age, the physical part is not there."
The maturity is, though — that much was clear Day 1 when he sought out Gordon.
Growing up, former Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was Farabee's favorite athlete. It looks like there's some of No. 26 in the Flyers' first-round pick.
German's got it
German Rubtsov, the Flyers' 2016 first-round pick at No. 22 overall, is in his second development camp. The 20-year-old center with NHL hands was impressive during a shooting drill, despite the competition in net being a practice player and not a prospect.
Rubtsov will turn pro in 2018-19 after helping Acadie-Bathurst Titan win the QMJHL championship and Memorial Cup.
"I feel good right now," Rubtsov said though an interpreter, Flyers skating coach Slava Kouznetsov. "I don't know how close I am to the NHL level. It's not for me to decide but I'm working on it."
All about the goalies
Goaltenders took the ice first Thursday, featuring Carter Hart and Felix Sandstrom.
Hart, one of the team's prized prospects, seems billed to start the 2018-19 season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
But that won't stop him from shooting for the Flyers. Hart exudes confidence and sounds like a 10-year NHLer with he how articulates his thoughts and talks the game.
"My goal is to play in the NHL next year," Hart said.
"I love coming to Philly whenever that is for development camp or training camp and I want to be a Philadelphia Flyer next year — that's my goal."
And if the Flyers still need a winger …
As for Sandstrom, 21, he will play another year in Sweden, gearing up for his first full season with HV71 of the SHL. He went through a difficult 2017-18 season in which he played for three teams and missed about two months because of a stomach illness.
The Flyers have some serious size at development camp. Goalie Ivan Fedotov, a 2015 seventh-round pick, is 6-foot-7 — yes, a 6-foot-7 goalie. Then there's defenseman Philippe Myers, who is 6-foot-5, and winger Isaac Ratcliffe, who is 6-foot-6.
"It's been a long week but it's been a good week. Kind of no time. Really only on the plane I was able to sit back, put away my phone and listen to music and relax. It's been unbelievable. I couldn't be happier to be a Flyer."
- Flyers 2018 first-round pick (No. 19 overall) Jay O'Brien
"It was probably my favorite year I’ve ever played hockey. We won a lot of games. We didn't lose too many. That's always fun."
- Morgan Frost on his 112-point junior season with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who went 55-7-6.