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Kevin Hayes on Flyers rookie Joel Farabee: 'When I was 19, I wasn’t even close to that’

Joel Farabee had an assist -- his first NHL point -- and had a goal and another assist negated by video-review decisions in the Flyers' 4-1 win Thursday in Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner guards the net while the Flyers' Joel Farabee (49) looks to score Thursday amid second-period traffic at the United Center.
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner guards the net while the Flyers' Joel Farabee (49) looks to score Thursday amid second-period traffic at the United Center.Read moreArmando L. Sanchez / MCT

CHICAGO -- Right winger Joel Farabee has played only two NHL games, but, like in the preseason, it seems every time he’s on the ice he’s in the middle of a scoring chance.

In short, the Flyers’ 19-year-old rookie does not look out of place and is playing as if he will never again see the AHL.

Farabee had his first NHL career point but easily could have had three in the Flyers’ 4-1 win Thursday in Chicago. He had a goal, which would have been his first, and an assist negated by two separate video reviews that caught Kevin Hayes offside on each occasion.

“On the first one he was too slow, on the second one he was too fast,” Hayes cracked about his linemate, Farabee.

Besides an assist, Farabee had four shots and three takeaways in a win that pushed the Flyers’ record to 4-3-1 heading into a home game Saturday night against Columbus (5-3-2).

“He played the right way,” captain Claude Giroux said after he and teammate James van Riemsdyk scored their first goals of the season. “He’s a high-skilled player, but he does the little things defensively. It’s fun to see him moving around like that.”

New coach Alain Vigneault called Farabee “very dependable at both ends of the ice. Every time he steps on the ice it’s a positive for him and he’s finding ways to contribute.”

Farabee “has a good swag to him, in a good way,” Hayes said. “He knows he’s young, but he plays a confident game. It’s impressive. He’s 19 years old and, I mean, when I was 19, I wasn’t doing that. I wasn’t even close to that. He works hard.”

After being one of the Flyers’ last cuts in training camp, Farabee starred in four AHL games with the Phantoms, collecting three goals and an assist and quickly being promoted.

“I think he was a little heartbroken when he got sent down,” Hayes said. “But at the end of the day, I think it’ll be one of the best things to happen to him.”

Farabee agreed.

“I think even playing the four games down there, I feel a lot more confident out there,” the former Boston University standout said. “I’m making better reads. Every day I’m getting better and finding new ways to create offense, and hopefully I’ll keep that going.”

Farabee said playing on a line with Hayes and Scott Laughton has helped him make a smooth transition.

“They’re two veteran guys that know how to play, so when I make mistakes, they have my back,” he said. “Having that in my pocket is good, and just talking with them on the bench when things aren’t going our way is really good.”

Farabee downplayed having his first NHL goal negated.

“Yeah, I would have liked it, but at the end of the day, when you’re winning, you’re happy, so let’s keep this rolling.”

The Flyers will aim for their third straight win Saturday against Columbus, which is coming off a 4-3 overtime win Thursday over Carolina. The Jackets have points in six straight games (4-0-2).


Left winger Michal Raffl suffered a lower-leg injury blocking a shot late in the game and was sore on Friday, but he will likely play Saturday, GM Chuck Fletcher said. ... Oskar Lindblom leads the Flyers with five goals. “I feel like I’m more involved [playing on] the power play and penalty kill, and of course that’s going to give you a boost,” Lindblom said. “It feels good, but it’s just eight games. Have to keep it going.”… The Flyers outshot the Hawks, 18-8, in the first two periods, including a 13-1 second-period domination. “I thought the first two periods we were great, then we stepped off the gas a little bit,” said Hayes. “Brian [Elliott] was really good in the pipes, and it was a good win.” … The Flyers were outshot in the final period, 16-5, but Elliott stood tall and allowed just one goal. Elliott said he tried to remember the shots he faced in the second period. “It didn’t take me long,” he said. “Our guys did a great job. We were in their zone and we created a lot of opportunities.”