SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers announced today that D Erik Gudbranson has been named the team’s 2013-2014 Community Ambassador of the Year for his service and contributions to the South Florida community. In recognition of this honor, the Florida Panthers Foundation has donated $50,000 in support of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year Event – South Florida Chapter.
“The entire Panthers organization commends Erik for his tireless community outreach efforts in South Florida,” said Florida Panthers CEO and President Rory Babich. “He is a true ambassador for our team and has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children and their families in our community.”
In conjunction with the Florida Panthers Foundation, Gudbranson purchased a suite at BB&T Center this season to host children and their families who were impacted by pediatric cancer. At the conclusion of select games throughout the year, Gudbranson offered each group a tour of the Panthers locker room, signed autographs, took photos and spoke to the families about how his younger brother recovered from pediatric cancer.
This past summer, Gudbranson volunteered his time to attend the team’s community outreach effort to promote hockey and the Panthers brand in Puerto Rico. While there, Gudbranson conducted a street hockey clinic and visited a children’s hospital. Gudbranson was also involved with several other of the team’s community initiatives this season, including the team’s Movember campaign, holiday hospital visits and various meet and greet opportunities with fans, youth hockey players and underprivileged children. He also served as the club’s spokesman at the team’s Ice & Dice Casino night that supported the Panthers Foundation.
The Panthers also announced today that Gudbranson was selected as the team’s nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The King Clancy is awarded to the player in the NHL who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Gudbranson, 22, was drafted by Florida with their first choice (third overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in 169 games with the Panthers (2011-2014), registering 21 points (5-16-21) and 239 penalty minutes. Most recently, he was selected to represent Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Men’s Championship in Minsk, Belarus from May 9-25.
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