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Event Spotlight:
Flyers Summer Rookie Camp Opens

Monday, August 21, 2000

By Gregg Williams
SJSports Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers are in the process of holding a summer rookie camp at the new Flyers practice facility, Flyers Skate Zone, in Voorhees, NJ. The Flyers Skate Zone facility does not officially open until the first week of September, but this is an opportunity to preview the facility.

The camp is being run by John Stevens, Head Coach of the Phantoms, and Kjell Samuelsson, Assistant Coach of the Phantoms and former Flyer. Also reviewing and videotaping from the balcony were Mike Strothers, Flyers' Assistant Coach and Ron Hextall, pro scout and former Flyer. The camp is being held from August 14-25. "This camp is a little bit of an evaluation camp and a little bit of a skills development camp," said Assistant General Manager Paul Holmgren, from the Flyers press release. "It's an evaluation of some of the free agents to see where they fit in, and skill development for some of the guys who are actually under contract with the Flyers. We look forward to them joining the organization in the upcoming season with either the Flyers, Phantoms or Trenton Titans."

I stopped by to see the camp, because my nephew Bryan, has been to the camp every day. He told me about the 1999 first round draft choice Maxime Ouellet and how he put on a show by stopping the puck on Thursday. Bryan is also a goalie. He likes the way Ouellet's wide butterfly stance and how he keeps his eye on the puck. He also told me about the 2000 first round pick Justin Williams. Justin has a lot of speed and can shoot the puck in the net. One thing he needs to work on is his hustle back to defense. Bryan also likes the speed and skill of Vaclav Pletka and the size of Ian "Tiny" Forbes, who is 6' 6", and the hustle and leadership of Dan Peters.

On Friday, the players did a lot of speed drills, skating, and shooting. Then the fun began, as the players played a little "2v2" with a goalie on each side. They had to try to score and not let the other team score along the length of the ice. They were out for 30-45 second shifts and never got to stand still. If someone scored, they would start down at the other end. This is where some of the players got caught day dreaming and had to work their butts off getting back into the play. This was also the first time that they were allowed to hit, and some of the players made some big hits. Two players that worked well together were Vaclav Pletka and Petr Hubacek. Maxime Ouellet came up with some nice saves in the "2v2".

If you would like to see these future Flyers, they will be at the Skate Zone in Voorhees with the following practice ice times:

August 21 - 2:45 pm to 4 pm
August 22-25 12:15 pm to 2:15 pm

Photos by Gregg and Bryan Williams

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