For much of the preseason, the major roster question was who general manager Paul Holmgren was going to decide to keep with the big club — James van Riemsdyk, Mika Pyorala or Blair Betts. But according to Holmgren, the Flyers want all three.
“If we were submitting rosters tomorrow, yeah, (Pyorala, JVR and Betts) would probably would be on it,” said Holmgren.
VOORHEES — 20-year old Kevin Marshall has seen himself quickly rise to the top of the organization’s prospect ranks since being selected by the Flyers 41st overall in the 2007 draft. The gritty stay-at-home blue liner is armed with a plethora of attractive weapons, including excellent vision, good skating and a nose for physical contact. But one the Quebec native’s most attractive qualities helped come from the advice of Hall of Famer and Quebec Rampart head coach Patrick Roy.
“Roy wanted me to improve on my leadership,” said Marshall, who was given the captaincy of the Ramparts right away in 2008-09. “He taught me that being a captain is all about work ethic and always being enthusiastic. He gave me some good tips that helped me really improve in that aspect.”
VOORHEES –Three-year rookie camp veteran and former third-round pick Jonathan Matsumoto is in organizational suspended animation.
The once mid-level center prospect, who just three years ago showed promise as a depth player, has quickly stagnated in the Flyers’ system, getting passed on the depth chart by centers Darroll Powe, Jared Ross and Jon Kalinski. And although the soon-to-be 23-year old put up 107 points in 156 games with the Phantoms, he hasn’t seen one minute of NHL ice time.
“If I knew what was holding me back I would have worked on it already,” said smiley and soft spoken Matsumoto. “They told me to come to camp in shape and I’m feeling good now. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Hopefully I just get a chance to show what I can do this year.”
Hockeysfuture.com has ranked the Flyers’ top 20 prospects for the 2009-10 season, with Claude Giroux leading off the group followed by James vanRiemsdyk, Ryan Parent, Kevin Marshall and Patrick Maroon. However, after Marc-Andre Bourdon at six, the list gets somewhat erratic.
During prospect camp in late July, fifth-round draft pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft, Nicola Riopel, looked like the most mature goaltender of the bunch. And it seems the Flyers noticed that too.
According to The Times &Transcript, the Flyers have inked Riopel to an entry-level deal. The 20-year is expected to start the season with the Adirondack Phantoms.
Just one year after drafting 2008 QMJHL Defenseman of the Year Marc-Andre Bourdon, 67th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the two-way blue liner is going pro. On Friday, the Flyers inked Bourdon to an entry-level deal, in which terms were not disclosed.
“Marc-Andre turns pro after an outstanding 2008-09 season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he was honored for his play during the regular season and in the playoffs,” said Flyers’ General Manager Paul Holmgren. “We believe Marc-Andre has tremendous potential to develop into a solid defenseman at the next level.”
Despite clear interest by the Flyers’ organization, prospects Mario Kempe and Denis Bodrov will not attend any sort of training camp this season.