After using a veteran lineup in their previous preseason game, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault was back in experimental mode for Monday’s exhibition against visiting Boston.
The Flyers dressed only one veteran center (Sean Couturier) and three regular defensemen (Ivan Provorov, Ryan Ellis, Keith Yandle) for Monday’s game. The other three centers were Morgan Frost, Elliot Desnoyers, and Jackson Cates.
Frost is expected to be used in a middle-six center role when the season starts Oct. 15 against Vancouver at the Wells Fargo Center. Cates and Connor Bunnaman are among the players competing for a spot as an extra forward.
“We’re looking at evaluating a few players in different situations,” Vigneault said after the morning skate.
The Flyers will face the New York Islanders on Tuesday in an exhibition game in Bridgeport, Conn. After that game, major cuts will be made, “and we’ll be down to pretty much our team,” Vigneault said.
The Flyers have 51 players left in camp; they will start the season with 22 or 23 players.
Before the game, Vigneault sounded excited to watch Desnoyers, 19, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2020.
“We want to see young players,” Vigneault said. “Desnoyers hasn’t played yet, and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen in practice.”
In addition, the defense included Linus Högberg, Wyatte Wylie, and Adam Clendening. Clendening and Nick Seeler (the favorite) are contending for the No. 7 role.
Lineup vs. Bruins
Here was the lineup for Monday’s game: Couturier centering Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny; Frost centering Oskar Lindblom and Cam Atkinson; Desnoyers centering James van Riemsdyk and Nic Aube-Kubel; and Cates centering Bunnaman and Max Willman. The defensive pairs: Provorov and Ellis; Yandle and Wylie; and Hogberg and Clendening. Goalie Carter Hart was scheduled to play the entire game.
Claude Giroux and Justin Braun had maintenance days and did not participate in the morning skate. … With Giroux out of the lineup, Farabee was moved to the top power-play unit for the game. … Goalie Martin Jones is scheduled to play the full game Tuesday against the Islanders. ... After Tuesday, the Flyers conclude their six-game exhibition schedule by facing the host Capitals on Friday. ... The Flyers sent defenseman Brian Zanetti to his OHL junior team, Peterborough. ... The Flyers’ ECHL affiliate in Reading will have former Flyers available for question-and-answer and autograph sessions on five Fridays during the season. Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Brian Propp, Paul Holmgren, and Danny Brière will make appearances on Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 7, Feb. 11, and April 8. For more information, go online to https://bit.ly/royalsflyersfridays.