With so many young defensemen promoted to the Flyers in recent years, the organization has made an effort to bolster the blue line in its farm system.
Egor Zamula, signed as an undrafted free agent last year, is one of the players keeping the pipeline moving.
The 6-foot-3, 178-pound Zamula has had an outstanding rookie camp. A native of Russia who speaks English, Zamula will participate in the rookie game Wednesday between the Flyers and New York Islanders at the PPL Center in Allentown (7:05 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia+).
“The one guy to me who keeps getting better is Zamula,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said after watching rookie camp Tuesday in Voorhees. “He’s an impressive young man. He has another year of junior. He’s not a candidate to make our team this year in Philadelphia, but I saw him play in junior and [while scouting for the Devils] watched him play in training camp with the Flyers last year, and he just keeps getting better and better.”
Zamula, 19, a left-handed shooter, will likely be paired with Phil Myers in the rookie game.
“He has a tremendous package of size and skill and skating,” Fletcher said of Zamula, who had 10 goals and 56 points in 61 games with Calgary in the Western Hockey League last season. “As he matures and gets stronger, he’s going to be a pretty impressive player.”
Myers called Zamula “a mobile guy and he’s really working hard, and it’s awesome to see.”
Zamula says that he feels more comfortable than he did at this point last year, and that he has a simple game plan for Wednesday: “Play every shift hard and fast. Make a good first pass and keep going.”
Wednesday will be an opportunity for all Flyers rookies to make an impression.
“Obviously, games are the best way to evaluate players,” Fletcher said.
The Flyers’ highly touted rookie first line — Morgan Frost centering Isaac Ratcliffe and Joel Farabee — will be on display Wednesday. All three will be at the Flyers’ main camp, which starts Friday, and are candidates for the third-line right-wing spot.
“We all complement each other really well,” Farabee said.
Farabee, the nation’s top NCAA first-year player while at Boston University last season, doesn’t lack confidence.
“I’m pretty optimistic. I think I’m ready for the challenge, and hopefully the staff can see that,” he said. “I have to showcase that in the game and then throughout main camp, and if they think I’m ready, hopefully I can make that jump.”
Farabee, 19, will make the shift from left to right wing in Wednesday’s matchup.
“Obviously, the game will be a good test for me to see where I’m at,” he said.
Frost, 20, is eager to center his two close friends.
“We’ve had scrimmages but haven’t played a full game in a long time,” he said. “It’ll be an adjustment, but I’m excited to get into a game. Rookie camp kind of gives you a head start on main camp and kind of gets your legs back under you. I’m definitely ready for main camp.”