Some view Phil Myers as the best player not drafted in 2015, and the Flyers may soon be reaping the benefits of the towering defenseman they signed as a free agent three years ago.
Myers is 6-foot-5, 220-pounds and has a big righthanded shot. He has a high offensive upside but is also as a player who could be a shutdown defender.
After an injury-plagued first two months last season with the AHL's Phantoms, Myers finished with 21 points and a plus-12 rating in 50 games. It was his first pro season.
"I'm pretty happy with the way the season went, but by all means I'm not satisfied," Myers, 21, said after the first day of development camp Thursday in Voorhees.
Myers is a long shot to make the Flyers in September, although he has a better chance than most players who are at development camp.
"If he had played a whole year, maybe he would be close," said Kjell Samuelsson, a Flyers player-development coach. "But he was hurt a lot, so I think he needs more time in the minors."
Samuelsson said Myers has fully recovered from a groin injury.
"He stuck out to me on the ice today — and he should," Samuelsson said. "He's probably one of the most experienced" at camp.
Myers contributed seven points in 13 Calder Cup playoff games.
"It's a different game in the playoffs," he said. "Guys finish their hits every time, every single shift. There's a lot more pressure, too. It's huge for the development and I was happy the way it went."
As for camp, Myers said he was coming with an open mind: "I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and improve my game in every aspect."
He will be given a chance to make the team in September. A lot depends on what general manager Ron Hextall does in the free-agent and trade markets this summer.
"I'll try to push for a roster spot," Myers said.
Most of the prospects were still talking Thursday about their grueling workouts with the Navy Seals on Wednesday in Stone Harbor.
"We trained with them on the beach, starting at 4 a.m. It was tough," said defenseman Adam Ginning, who was selected by the Flyers in the second round of the draft Saturday. "We were running into the water, we were carrying each other…All kinds [of drills]. We spent six hours on that beach and it was pretty tough."
"A lot of it was just mental. That's a big thing they emphasized to us, that everything is in your mind as far as working and breathing," said defenseman Jack St. Ivany, a fourth-round draft selection Saturday. "After the first couple hours, you start to get used to it, and even though it's a hard thing, you're there with your teammates and you know the guy next to you is going though whatever you're going through. Once you get over that mental hurdle the rest of it is easy."