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Hitting The Ice

Panthers prospects skate for first time at Iceplex as part of Development Camp.

Tuesday, 07.12.2011 / 5:15 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Hitting The Ice
Development Camp

The Panthers kicked off their on-ice portion of Development Camp in front of a packed house at the Saveology.com Iceplex Tuesday morning.

"This camp focuses more about skill set and working on their fundamentals," said Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen who led the two hour long sessions. "When we're out there doing those kinds of things, it feels good. I think for them and certainly for us as well."

"It was great to see all our prospects out on the ice this morning," added Panthers GM Dale Tallon. "We have a diverse group of young, high character and hard working players who share a passion and love for the game. Our staff has done a fine job is setting up a variety of on and off ice activities throughout the week, that will help to enhance our prospects growth and development."

More than 500 fans got a close up to the Panthers' future at the Panthers Den at Saveology.com Iceplex as they went through drill after drill, working on passing, shooting and scoring.

"It was wonderful to see all our fans come out and pack the rink this morning to watch our prospects," said Tallon. "We have a great fan base in South Florida and today they had the opportunity to see the future of the Florida Panthers organization."

For the prospects that were in attendance (open to those that were just drafted within last couple of years and first and second year pros), it was a chance to get their feet (or skates) back on the ice. For most it was the first time in a few months.

"To skate on the ice for the first time with the Panthers jersey was great," said Panthers first round pick (3rd overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft Jonathan Huberdeau.

The Panthers prospects who have been in South Florida since at least Sunday have been bonding through the on and off ice workouts and activities.

"It's been great. Especially the older guys have taken the younger guys in," said Rocco Grimaldi, the Panthers second round pick (33rd overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. "Everyone is respectful of everyone and it feels like brothership already. We've only been here a couple of days so that's great to see."

"It's great to come here," said Huberdeau. "Come here and meet all the guys. There's older guys and younger guys. It's good to do that in July. It's a great experience to come here and be ready for the rookie camp.

While the prospects are learning to become pros on and off the ice this week, they are keeping in mind that they are trying to make an impression in front of the coach's and scout's eyes. With Tallon saying that there was some spots on the roster open for the young players, development camp is one way to go a long way to making the opening night lineup.

"I'm a young guy so any time I come here, I'm soaking up whatever is shown to me. The competition is one thing," said Erik Gudbranson, the Panthers first pick (third overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. "At main camp, I'm going to be extremely excited to skate with all those pros."

The fun/workouts continue with some off ice workouts Wednesday before more on-ice workouts both Thursday and Friday mornings (9am start). Both on-ice days are open to the public.

Guddy A JovoCop Fan
Following practice, 2010 first round pick Erik Gudbranson (3rd overall) was asked about the Panthers and all of the moves they made to help their team before and during free agency. Gudbranson was paying attention to the moves and was extremely excited about two of the  moves.

"Obviously it's amazing," said Gudbranson. "Being able to turn on TSN up in Ottawa and look down at the tidbits at the bottom (of the screen) and they picked up Ed Jovanovski who is by far one of my favorite defensemen growing up. It's someone you can model your game after and definitely look up to.

"I was really excited when we picked up Matt Bradley. I've been skating with him for the last couple of years. He's a seasoned vet. He's great with the young guys."

Dineen Already Looking Ahead
While it's only July and the opening night roster won't be set for probably another three months, head coach Kevin Dineen was asked about the prospects of a depth chart. While he hasn't thought of that, he has certainly thought about line combinations.

Another thing that he was asked about was the captaincy. That will be determined once the team convenes for training camp in September.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

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