NHL prospects help kids at Philadelphia clinic

Aaron Ekblad. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Aaron Ekblad. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Posted: June 28, 2014

Some of the NHL's top draft prospects headed a clinic for players from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation on Thursday, supervising drills and giving tips to the youngsters at the refurbished Scanlon Rink in Kensington.

"It was like, 'Wow,' " defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by Florida, said of the young players' ability.

Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, proudly watched the clinic from the other side of the boards.

"It's exciting all the way around, particularly for the kids," he said. "They're going to remember this forever."

The NHL prospects, all of whom figure to be selected in the first round Friday at the Wells Fargo Center, enjoyed focusing on the players from the foundation.

"This is probably the most enjoyable part of the week for us," said center Sam Reinhart, who, along with the other prospects, toured some of Philadelphia's landmark and trendy sites Wednesday and took batting practice at Citizens Bank Park. "It's a chance to get away from [the draft] and give back a little bit."

Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, a lifelong Flyers fan who grew up in Washington Township and could be the first U.S.-born player chosen in the draft, said it was "cool" to meet Snider. He did not ask Snider to have the Flyers draft him (provided he is available) with the 17th pick in the first round.

"I'm hoping he knows already I want to play here," DeAngelo said with a smile. "We'll see what happens."

Ekblad said he was nervously excited for the draft.

"I think tonight I'll have a hard time sleeping," he said.

Snider recently underwent chemotherapy treatment for cancer and looked fit and trim.

"I feel great. Been feeling great forever," he said.

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