New Flyers on display at camp

Brayden Schenn skates during a drill at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.The center was acquired in the Mike Richards deal.
Brayden Schenn skates during a drill at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.The center was acquired in the Mike Richards deal. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 07, 2011

Like the other up-and-comers on hand Wednesday for the start of the Flyers' developmental camp, forward Matt Read would like to capitalize on the team's recent roster overhaul and fill a vacancy left by a traded or non-signed player.

"There could be an opportunity for myself," said Read, who signed a three-year, one-way deal with the club in March and then notched 13 points in 11 games for the Adirondack Phantoms. "If there's a spot open for me, I'd love to take it."

At a morning practice session at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, Read and others, including promising forwards Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, showcased their skills in a variety of drills. The camp, open to the public, runs through Monday.

Schenn was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in the Mike Richards trade. The fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, the 19-year-old starred for four years in the Western Hockey League. He appeared in nine games for the Kings over the last two seasons.

"Philadelphia has a great history," the center said. "I'm glad I got traded here. The fans are intense. That's what you want. You want fans who sets goals for you and the team."

Couturier, 18, was selected with the draft pick (eighth overall) the Flyers received as part of the Jeff Carter trade with Columbus. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder was the MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, posting 36 goals and 60 assists for Drummondville.

"It's great to be here," he said. "For sure, my goal is to make the team. It's going to be up to the coaching staff to decide."

Player development coach Derian Hatcher put the prospects through their paces, with help from Phantoms assistant Riley Cote and Flyers forward Ian Laperriere.

Carter and Richards combined for 59 goals last season. Fellow forward Ville Leino, who signed a six-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres, chipped in 19 goals and 34 assists.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren was asked if all the wheeling and dealing had changed the club's goal for the 2011-12 campaign.

"Not in our mind," he said. "Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. That's our goal every year."

Of possibly shuffling the roster further, Holmgren said: "We're happy with where we're at right now, but it's important to keep your eyes open."

In his senior year at Bemidji State in Minnesota, Read, 25, collected 35 points in 37 games.

"Matt is a real smart player," Holmgren said. "He just looks like a hockey player. How quickly that translates into him being in the NHL, that's hard to say."

Holmgren sounded optimistic about Schenn's being with the Flyers when they open the regular season against the Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins Oct. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Hulking defenseman Oliver Lauridsen was impressive on the first day of camp, using his considerable muscle to win a one-on-one drill against Schenn. In March, just two games into his start with the Phantoms, the 6-6, 236-pounder suffered a serious shoulder injury.

"It's hard to find a 6-6 guy who can get around the ice like that," Holmgren said. "It's really remarkable, the turnaround he's made since the injury."

The Flyers tabbed Lauridsen, a 22-year-old from Denmark, in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. He played in 108 games over three seasons at St. Cloud St. (Minn.) University.

"I'm going to try to show the coaches that I'm a bigger guy who has an edge to his game and is a pretty good skater for his size," he said.


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or robrien@phillynews.com.

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