Carsen Twarynski knows that there’s a long list of candidates and that he’s a long shot to fill the Flyers’ third-line right-wing spot this season.
But that doesn’t make him any less enthused about the opportunity.
You might recall that Twarynski, in his first pro season, was one of the most pleasant surprises in last year’s training camp, lasting until the final cuts. That experience gives him confidence heading into the start of rookie camp Saturday morning in Voorhees. The Flyers’ main camp will begin Sept. 13, also in Voorhees.
“It’s really exciting, especially with how close I was last year,” Twarynski, 21, said earlier in the week. “I kind of let that slip away. I learned my lesson. There’s no space to slip. All it takes is one [bad] game. I think I still had a solid camp, and it still wasn’t enough. So it shows me I have to be at the best of my game every single day.”
A physical player, the 6-foot-2, 206-pound Twarynski stayed in the area this summer and worked out with some other prospects at the Flyers’ practice rink in Voorhees, preparing for the opening of camp.
The Calgary native had an inconsistent season with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms last year, finishing with 10 goals in 69 games. Sometimes he looked like the same rugged player who impressed the brass during Flyers exhibition games. Sometime he looked like a rookie struggling to find his game.
At the beginning of last season, Twarynski was still feeling the sting of being sent down to the minors and wasn’t very productive.
Twarynski, a third-round draft selection in 2016 who scored 45 goals in the Western Hockey League in 2017-18, eventually regrouped, and his coaches lauded his defensive work and his play without the puck. Twarynski called the season a learning experience.
“It helped me mature a bit and helped me adjust to the differences from junior to pro,” he said. “Obviously there’s a difference from the American [Hockey] League to the National League, but I got to experience that with six exhibition games. I know they’re not as high level yet as the regular season, but I think I matured a little more, and it helped my confidence.
“I think it’s exciting that I was close last year, and I’m going to do what I can to make it this year.”
The rookie camp will culminate with a game against the New York Islanders’ prospects on Wednesday at the PPL Center, home of the Phantoms.
“A lot of these guys haven’t played in Allentown yet,” Twarynski said. “The fan base there is really good, and they’ll have a chance to see all the draft picks come in. It’s going to be packed, and it’ll be exciting."