In the span of less than two weeks, Joel Farabee went from being a member of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program to a first-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft to Boston University to attend school this summer and play for the Terriers this upcoming season.
Sandwiched between the whirlwind weeks, which provided just a day or two to pack for college, was his debut with the Flyers at the team’s five-day development Camp earlier this month.
“It’s definitely been a long process,” Farabee said after one of the camp sessions. “This whole draft year has been a bit stressful. Now that it happened and I’m drafted and have a home with the Flyers, I now have something to work toward and I am really excited.”
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Less than a week after hearing NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced he was the 14th overall pick of the Flyers at the draft in Dallas, Texas, Farabee attended development camp at the Jersey Shore and the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey with 33 other budding players in the system.
The first day was the fun-in-the-sun Trial on the Isle in Stone Harbor, New Jersey that included a hockey clinic for kids, mingling with fans, and a beach volleyball tournament. From there, it was four straight days of on-ice instruction that concluded with a 3-on-3 tournament.
The Flyers use the annual camp as a teaching tool and emphasize to players it has nothing to do with evaluations for the upcoming season. The Cicero, N.Y., native felt the five-day event was the ideal opportunity to get introduced to the organization and some of the players.
“I am just trying to learn as much as I can,” the winger said. “I know I am not going to make the team this year. I just want to use what I learn from here, head into college and use it there. Then, we will see what happens.”
Farabee, a left winger and captain of the USNT, is praised for his hockey IQ, excellent skating, hard and accurate shot, and ability to play at both ends of the ice.
Where does Joel Farabee see himself in a few years?
However, the one knock on him is his size. At just 6-foot, 161 pounds, he needs to add significant weight to his lean frame.
“My end goal is 180-185 [pounds],” Farabee said. “That is a few years away. I think I can play at the NHL level a little less than that, but 180 is my goal.”
Farabee compares himself to Pittsburgh Penguins’ center Jake Guentzel, who is listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and scored 22 goals and had 26 assists in his first full season last year.
“I have watched a lot of him,” Farabee said. “We had the same process where he was a little underweight when he was drafted. It’s someone I follow and model my game after.”
Guentzal, also an American, spent three years playing college hockey at Nebraska-Omaha before joining the Penguins. Farabee is hoping he follows a similar path to the Flyers while playing for BU.
“The facilities are great and the coaching staff is awesome,” Farabee said. “I’m just really excited to play there and be in Boston.”