In a very short time span, Joel Farabee has gone from being sent back to the Phantoms late in training camp to playing on one of the Flyers’ top lines and on their No. 1 power-play unit.
Yes, the Flyers think highly of their 19-year-old winger.
Farabee, who had four points (three goals, assist) in four games with the AHL’s Phantoms before being promoted to the Flyers, was on a line with left winger James van Riemsdyk and center Claude Giroux in their 4-3 shootout loss Saturday to Toronto. He had seven shots, two on net, and no points, but was again in the middle of several scoring chances.
The line was on the ice for the Flyers’ two power-play goals in the game.
“It gives me a lot of confidence that I’m playing with two really good players,” Farabee said. “I just have to kind of vibe with them and try to get some chemistry going. … I thought our five-on-five play was really good and we could have had two or three goals, and that offense led right into our power play.”
Based on practice Monday in Voorhees, Farabee will stay on the same line Tuesday, when the Flyers (6-5-2) host Carolina (9-4-1). Carter Hart (3.23 GAA, .867 save percentage) will get the start for the Flyers.
“As a line, we just have to keep getting better every day,” Farabee said after a 50-minute practice session. “Playing with those guys is so easy.”
Farabee, who has played a responsible 200-foot game, was on the third line when he first joined the Flyers.
“As a mentality for me, I’m always a guy who wants to be better and wants to do more,” Farabee said. “If I get put on the third line, I want to be on the second line or first line. It’s the mentality I’ve always had. Keep striving for more, and if you keep working hard, things like that [can happen]. Keep relying on the vets for guidance and that really me helps out.”
Van Riemsdyk called Farabee a skilled and smart player.
“I think we were reading off each other well,” he said. "That was the first time I had a chance to play together with him in practice or a game, so you’re still trying to find some of those chemistry things, but I think we had some good looks at the net.”
Farabee said he was “working to stay here and solidify my spot on the team because I can go down [to the Phantoms] at any time. I just have to keep doing the little things. If the points happen, they do.”
He has played in seven games. Once he gets in 10, the first year of his entry-level contract will be burned off.
“Obviously, you want to get to the next contract as soon as possible, but I think I’m going to just enjoy the moment right now,” he said.
A grinning Farabee kidded that when he scored his first career goal Friday to key a win in New Jersey, he made sure Kevin Hayes was on the bench. Hayes had been called for offside twice in a game in Chicago earlier in the season, negating what would have been Farabee’s first goal and first assist.
Van Riemsdyk will face his brother, Trevor, who is a Carolina defenseman. James van Riemsdyk said his brother had a 4-3 winning edge in games their teams have played against each other in their careers. “It’s always something we look forward to as a family; my parents are coming down [Monday], so we’ll have a bite to eat.” He said his parents always wear items that represent both teams. … Alain Vigneault confirmed that Sean Couturier has a shoulder strain and that the medical staff reprimanded the coach for using the center on 10 faceoffs Saturday. … Nolan Patrick did some light skating and shooting before practice with skills coach Angelo Ricci. … Travis Sanheim, who has had some problems staying on his feet lately, did some skating before practice and then joined his teammates.