Flyers’ 2009 prospect camp begins this week

On Monday, the greenest Flyers gather in Voorhees, N.J., to begin another week-long conditioning camp.  And although camp this year is less exciting than its recent predecessors, it still makes for some interesting story lines.

The headliner to watch is former second-overall selection, James van Riemsdyk.  JVR has performed admirably at prospect camp the past two summers,  but with the organizations top prospect facing a full season at the pro level, many look at him to impress the Flyers’ brass through out and be the most dominant player on the ice.

Another player that has the eye of the brass is one of many interesting defensemen, Kevin Marshall.  Marshall is quickly driving up the organization’s depth chart due to his mature play and leadership skills.  Marshall may be the top defenseman in the Flyers’ system and it will be interesting to see how he performs.

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon was injured last camp and was unable to play in the scrimmages.  Now healthy, Bourdon is coming off a very successful season with Rimouski of the QMJHL and will be watched by many, who want to see if he is truly making the progress that the scouts praise him for.

Seeing his first prospect camp is third-round selection in the 2009 draft, Simon Bertisson out of Sweden.  Bertisson has been touted with having a very mature game and not being far from the NHL.  A camp against North American skaters on North American-style ice will reveal how ready he really is.

Another interesting blueliner is Joonas Lehtivuori.  The smallish Finn was not involved in last year’s camp due to obligations with his Finnish club Ilves Tampere.  Now heading into the season with the Phantoms of the AHL, Lehtivuori is one of those wild cards that could stand out.

As far as goalies are concerned, Nicola Riopel may be the most interesting of all.  Drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, Riopel was past over twice in the 2007 and 2008 draft without being taken.  But coming off a record-breaking year in the QMJHL, it will be curious to see if he is the real deal, or just another ordinary back stop

The notable absences from the camp are Russian prospect Denis Bodrov and Mario Kempe.

Last year, General Manager Paul Holmgren said that Bodrov may be the most “NHL ready” defenseman in the system, which begged the question, when will we see him?  That question may never be answered.  Bodrov is making excellent (guaranteed) money in the KHL.  And although Holmgren and Bodrov’s agent are trying to work a deal to get the Russian to North America, Bodrov’s camp wants a one-way contract, meaning him cannot be send to the AHL at any time.  He also wants equal money to what he’s making in the KHL.  Doing so would be risking a lot on a blue liner that has not proven he can hack a higher level of play.  Don’t expect to see him in Philadelphia any time soon.

As for Kempe, the situation is still a little murky.  The Swedish speedster dazzled in prospect camp the past two seasons and seemed to be high on the Flyers’ list.  so much so, that the Flyers signed Kempe to an entry-level deal with the Phantoms last season and was expected to come over from Sweden permanently.  However, something went wrong and the Flyers lost his rights, prompting a return to Sweden, where Kempe will play for the 2009-10 season.

Below is the camp roster, provided by the Flyers’ Kevin Kurz and @flyersonthefly.  The Schedule of dates and times can be found here.

Forwards

61 Josh Beaulieu RW Phila. (AHL) 5th round (2005)
53 Rob Bellamy RW Phila. (AHL) 3rd round (2005)
71 Rocco Carzo LW Des Moines (USHL) Undrafted
52 Matt Clackson LW Phila. (AHL) 7th round (2005)
40 Ryan Dingle LW Iowa (AHL) Trade with Anaheim on June 26, 2009
37 Jon Kalinski C Phila. (AHL)/FLYERS 6th round (2007)
59 Garrett Klotz LW Phila. (AHL) 3rd round (2007)
60 Dave Labrecque C Shawninigan (QMJHL) 6th round (2009)
57 David Laliberte RW Phila. (AHL) 4th round (2004)
62 Josh Lunden LW U. of Alaska-Anchorage (WCHA) Undrafted
54 Pat Maroon LW Phila. (AHL) 6th round (2007)
50 Jon Matsumoto C Phila. (AHL) 3rd round (2006)
15 Andreas Nodl RW Phila. (AHL)/FLYERS 2nd round (2006)
63 Michael Penny RW American Intl. College (Atlantic) Undrafted
51 Zac Rinaldo C Mississauga St. Michael’s/London (OHL) 6th round (2008)
76 Brett Robinson LW Mercyhurst (Atlantic) Undrafted
21 James van Riemsdyk LW New Hampshire (HE)/Phila. (AHL) 1st round (2007)
47 Eric Wellwood LW Windsor (OHL) 6th round (2009)


Defensemen:

No. Name Pos. 2008-09 Team How Acquired
41 Simon Bertisson D Brynas (SEL) 3rd round (2009)
64 Channing Boe D Minnesota St.-Mankato (WCHA) Undrated
43 Marc-Andre Bourdon D Rouyn-Noranda/Rimouski (QMJHL) 3rd round (2008)
56 Oliver Lauridsen D St. Cloud St. (WCHA) 7th round (2009)
58 Joonas Lehtivuori D Ilves Tampere (FNL) 4th round (2006)
46 Kevin Marshall D Quebec (QMJHL) 2nd round (2007)
55 Michael Ratchuk D Phila. (AHL) 2nd round (2006)
65 Nicholas Rioux D St. Cloud St. (WCHA) Undrated
68 David Sloane D Colgate (ECAC)/Phila. (AHL)/FLYERS Undrafted

Goaltenders:

No. Name Pos. 2008-09 Team How Acquired
70 Jacob DeSerres G Seattle (WHL) 3rd round (2008)
67 Jeremy Duchesne G Mississippi/SC (ECHL) 4th round (2005)
49 Joacim Eriksson G Brynas IF (Sweden) 7th round (2008)
73 Adam Morrison G Saskatoon (WHL) 3rd round (2009)
74 Nicola Riopel G Moncton (QMJHL) 5th round (2009)
75 Cody Rosen G Kingston (OJHL) Undrafted
79 Michael-Lee Teslak G Mississippi/Elmira (ECHL)/Phila. (AHL) Signed as free agent on March 18, 2008
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