Flyers training camp may not open until Friday, but fans can get a glimpse of the future today as rookie camp begins at Skate Zone in Voorhees.
As bad as the Flyers were last season, none of the prospects is expected to make the roster this fall.
That's because the Flyers retooled their roster via trades and free agency, leaving little room for untested players.
In all likelihood, Steve Downie, who's made impressive gains in junior hockey, will be a Phantom this season with call-up availability to the Flyers. Claude Giroux, another top forward prospect, will return to his junior team.
"It would take a stretch for one of those guys, like Downie or Giroux, this year," general manager Paul Holmgren said of them making the Flyers' roster. "And yet, when you finish where we were last year, you have to be open to a lot of things."
One player to keep an eye on through both camps is defenseman Ryan Parent, who could push Alexandre Picard and Randy Jones for a final roster spot.
That assumes that Parent has a brilliant camp and other factors play in. Given that the Flyers have too many defensemen, they will be looking to lose - not add - a couple via trade before the season begins.
What do the Flyers expect from this rookie camp?
"More than anything, a lot of times, if you throw younger guys in with older guys, the intimidation of the actual process is not good for your young players," Holmgren said. "If they are in there among their peers, they get a sense of where they are at within their group.
"Hopefully, when the older players come in four or five days later, your younger players are more settled and have their wits about themselves. Being with their own peer group gives them a chance to do what they think they can do when the big boys show up."
Loose pucks. The game between the Flyers rookies and Washington Capitals rookies at Skate Zone in Voorhees is Wednesday. It is free and open to the public. However, the game time has been moved to 4 p.m. . . . Physicals for the main training camp are on Thursday. . . . Preseason tickets are on sale through ComcastTIX by phone, 1-800-298-4200. Fans can also visit the Flyers' Web site - www.philadelphiaflyers.com - for other options.