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Rooks Hit The Ice

Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 1:55 PM ET / News
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Rooks Hit The Ice
(Brooke Cranor)
By Jacyln Casal, University of Miami

CORAL SPRING, Fla. – The Florida Panthers began Rookie Training Camp Friday, Sept. 9 at the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs, Fla with medical testing and head shots. On Saturday, they opened up camp with their first practice on the ice.

The camp features Panthers prospects, as well as prospects from the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators as the three teams will all face off in a tournament.

“To try to evaluate guys, there's a lot of guys out there,” said Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen following the first practice. “Some thing stick out but you like the flow and I think right now you look at those intangibles when you're early in training camp and the enthusiasm that was coming from these guys. They couldn't wait to get on the ice.

“They were strong on their execution and I think it made for a pretty good first day for us. “

The tournament part of Rookie Camp begins on Sunday, Sept. 11 with the Panthers taking on the Lightning at 6 p.m. Other games featuring the Panthers are on Tuesday, Sept. 13 against the Predators and Wednesday, Sept. 14 against the Lightning, both beginning at noon. The games give top prospects a chance to show their skills, hard work and training they have put in during the offseason.

Some of the key prospects for the Panthers are first-round picks D Erik Gudbranson (third overall, 2010), LW Quinton Howden (25th overall, 2010), C Jonathan Huberdeau (third overall, 2011) and 2008 second-rounder (31st overall) G Jacob Markstrom.

 “I came to the camp with the idea to be prepared and make the team,” said Huberdeau. “It’s been a good two days right now for me and I just want to wear the Panthers uniform in October.”

“Of course for me being a part of the rookie camp, it's more time on the ice and more games so I'm trying to enjoy every second of it,” said Markstrom. “It will give me a head start before main camp starts.”

While playing games right away has the young guns charged up, it’s a double edged sword for the Cats bench boss.

“That's a curse and a blessing because there's so many things,” said Dineen. “We did a little bit this morning and the trick right now is not to overwhelm these guys. To let them go out and show their natural instincts and ability and go play the game but in saying that, we're looking for a few very specific areas that we feel that organizationally we're going to have success.”

The prospects for the Panthers organization were ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s 2011 NHL organizational rankings. The rankings are based on quantity of players, as well as quality, with the Panthers having a total of 15 top prospects.

The Panthers have an overall positive outlook for the season. The organization signed and traded for numerous veteran players, including Brian Campbell, Tomas Fleischmann, Ed Jovanovski and Scottie Upshall, in the off-season who they anticipate to make up for the loss of the team’s Most Valuable Player Tomas Vokoun. David Booth, one of the team’s top players, is also expected to make a comeback after a difficult last season.

With so many changes, new prospects, new coach and a look that has the entire South Florida community “Seeing Red”, the Panthers have an optimistic attitude for the season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
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

STATS

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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