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Panthers Future Kicks Off Season As Rookie Camp Opens

Thursday, 09.5.2013 / 6:29 PM ET / News
By Alexandra Maass  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Panthers Future Kicks Off Season As Rookie Camp Opens

After months away from the ice, hockey was officially back at the Saveology.com Iceplex and it was the future that kicked things off as the Panthers prospects hit the ice for the start of Prospects Camp. The team’s younger players took action and showed their skills at the JetBlue Training Facility, ultimately aiming for a spot on the opening night roster.

“It’s really good to see them playing out here,” said San Antonio coach Peter Horachek who will lead the young players in their three-day Prospect Tournament starting on Friday against Nashville. “These guys—they’re enthusiastic, they play at a pretty good pace, and there’s some really good size out there.”

Although the Panthers are being cautious with 2013 second overall pick Aleksander Barkov, he was on the ice at today’s practice. Barkov may not be playing in this weekend’s prospect tournament, but the 6-foot-3 center certainly showed his talent and strong left-handed shot in the first official session.

Other notable players during rookie camp included Quinton Howden who scored on a couple of nice shootout moves, and the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Player Vincent Trocheck. Coming off a great season split between the Saginaw Spirit and Plymouth Whalers, Trocheck showed a lot of promise to be a dominating force on offense. Totaling 109 points last season in the OHL, including hitting the 50 goal plateau (50-59-109), Trocheck also received the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the OHL’s top scorer. That was something he reflected on when asked by the media about it but it was just a step for the first year pro.

“It was an honor to say I scored 50 goals,” said Trocheck.

There is a huge opportunity for him this season, so he has been working during the off-season to get to the next level of play, and prove himself during this upcoming tournament.

“I love the off-season. I’m one of those guys that loves to be at the gym,” said Trocheck. “I love to go home and work on things.”

Also in camp was Alex Gudbranson. Panthers fans will easily recognize the last name. The younger brother of Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, Alex was asked to attend rookie camp on a tryout, and said that whether or not his brother was on the team, he couldn’t turn down an offer from the NHL.

“He’s Erik and I’m Alex, we’re two different guys,” said the younger Gudbranson, “I’m hoping they’ll be able to see that.”

An hour-and-a-half long practice wrapped up with a shootout before the team. Friday, they’ll start round-robin play against the Predators (6pm) before taking on Boston (4pm, Saturday) and Tampa Bay (4pm, Sunday).

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
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
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 72 13 34 8 47
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 74 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 70 13 26 -3 39
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 74 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 65 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 64 14 17 -2 31
B. Campbell 75 3 21 2 24
B. Pirri 42 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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