A slender youngster, perhaps 8 or 9 years old, put a backhander into the net and was immediately rewarded with a fist bump from former Flyer Bob "Hound" Kelly on Wednesday morning inside the Wells Fargo Center.

"Nice shot, bud," Kelly said.

The youngster's smile seemed to stretch the length of the rink.

There were lots of smiles as 40 at-risk and special-needs participants took part in a street-hockey clinic overseen by Kelly, Flyers community-relations manager Jason Tempesta, and three of the organization's promising prospects: Sam Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Anthony Stolarz.

Tempesta told the participants that Kelly scored the winning goal in 1975 when the Flyers captured their last Stanley Cup. And he drew more applause when he introduced the three prospects.

"The next Stanley Cup banner that hangs up there, these guys are going to be a part of it," he told them.

The participants ranged from 8 years old to 50-plus, and the event was partnered by the Flyers and Access Sports Experiences, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization that provides sporting experiences to at-risk and special-needs individuals.

It was the first time the Flyers had hosted a clinic within the Wells Fargo Center. Participants got to sit on the Flyers' bench, and they did shooting, passing and stickhandling drills as the rink was transformed into a street-hockey court.

Lori McClure, assistant director at Access Sports, said her organization works with social-service agencies in Philadelphia and South Jersey, and it provides special-needs individuals with "opportunities they have never had before."

The at-risk children, she said, "don't have all the opportunities that others might have. They might be living in social-service residencies because they've been abused, or because of parental drug and alcoholic issues. Emotionally, they need some extra support along the way because it's not provided at home."

John McCabe is a life-skills manager with Step by Step, a human-service agency that provides support for people who have disabilities. He was at the hockey clinic with five individuals he brought from Montgomery, Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.

An event like Wednesday's "promotes independence and self-esteem to make them feel they're a part of a major sports team. It's pretty cool," he said.

Morin, a 6-foot-6, 228-pound defenseman, was animated as he worked with the youngsters.

"I love being with those kids, and they were pretty good," he said. "To put a smile on their faces is always fun."

"It's great to give back," said Stolarz, a goalie. "Anytime you can brighten up someone's day, it means a lot to them and to us."

"I love doing this stuff. It's a lot of fun to teach them the game of hockey and show them there's other sports out there," said Gostisbehere, a defenseman who has made a strong recovery from knee surgery.

Guiding goalies

The Flyers named Brady Robinson goaltending development coach. He comes to the Flyers from the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League.

@BroadStBull