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Ellerby Ready For Canada/Russia Super Series

Tuesday, 08.21.2007 / 5:47 PM ET / News
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Ellerby Ready For Canada\/Russia Super Series
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

Keaton Ellerby doesn’t remember the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia. Don’t blame him, though. The series was played 16 years before he was born.

But don’t think Ellerby isn’t aware of the historical significance of that tense series or the mark left by Canada’s Team of the Century.

Keaton Ellerby (Getty Images)
“I wasn’t around back then,” said Ellerby, the Panthers’ No. 1 draft pick (10th overall) in June at the Entry Draft. “But being a Canadian kid, you always hear quite a lot of talk about that series and what it meant.”

Thirty-five years after Paul Henderson’s series-winning goal against the Russians, Ellerby will help lead a new generation of Canadian players against the Russians beginning next week in the Canada/Russia Super Series.

“I’m excited about the series,” said Ellerby, who departed Tuesday from Toronto for Russia with Team Canada’s Under-20 team. “The Canada-Russia rivalry is one of the biggest, if not the biggest. I know from reading and television the ’72 series was very intense, so I’m looking forward to this.”

Ellerby won’t be the only Panther playing in the series. Evgeni Dadonov, a third-round selection (71st overall), will compete for Team Russia.

Described as a strong skater with a “bit of a mean streak,” by director of scouting Scott Luce, Ellerby has been working out at home this summer in Kamloops, British Columbia. He’s been in contact over the summer several times with director of player development Duane Sutter and also spent a week in Calgary working with strength and conditioning coach Andy O’Brien.

“I’ve been working out five, six days a week,” said the 6-4, 185-pound Ellerby. “I also worked with Andy, a lot of one-on-one stuff that a lot of the Panthers do. A lot of the stuff is on the track, sprints and lunges. I really want to improve as much as I can on being strong, improving my quickness and agility.”

Ellerby’s participation in the Super Series means he will miss the Panthers’ Rookie Camp, which begins Sept. 5 in Kitchener. Panther GM and coach Jacques Martin believes the Super Series is too good an opportunity for Ellerby to miss.

“It’s a great opportunity he has to represent his country,” Martin said. “They (Team Canada) scouted him and watched his play last year and they believe he’s one of the top 25 players in the country under 20. It’s a nice benefit for him. Even though he won’t be at rookie camp, this series is something of a larger magnitude. Once he’s done with the series, he’ll come directly to our main camp (Sept. 12).”

Ellerby, who has played against and with several players on the Team Canada roster in the Western Hockey League (WHL), is looking forward to Panther camp. The question is whether he’s good enough and mature enough to break into the Panthers roster come October.

Whether he’s with the Panthers or back in the WHL with Kamloops, Ellerby is looking toward the future.

“Hopefully, I can come to Florida and show enough that the staff and Jacques Martin give me a chance to stay there,” Ellerby said. “If not, if I’m to go through another year of development in Kamloops, either way I’ll be fine. My goal is still going to be to play in the NHL.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
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11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 71 13 32 7 45
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 73 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 69 13 25 -4 38
B. Boyes 72 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 73 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 64 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 63 12 17 -2 29
B. Campbell 74 3 21 1 24
B. Pirri 41 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 11 .922 2.32
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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