After a long week of early mornings and tough workouts for the next generation of great young Florida Panthers, the team ‘s yearly development camp finally came to an end on Friday – culminating with a scrimmage and skills competition to entertain the large group of fans that were in attendance. With a grueling week of practices and power skating in the books, players were delighted to have some fun by competing against one another, as well as showcasing their own personal talents in shootout drills. Skaters like Rocco Grimaldi and Vincent Trocheck were able to bring fans to their feet with dazzling shootout maneuvers that really helped fans leave this year’s camp with both a smile on their face and hope for the team’s future.
With both Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau sidelined due to injuries, the spotlight shifted throughout the week as numerous players made their names known through their exceptional play during practices. Skaters such as Vincent Trocheck, Mike Matheson, and Logan Shaw have all now become household names to Panthers’ fans as they look to continue to build upon an already strong foundation of talented young prospects. We here at Panther Parkway were able to sit down with numerous prospects from this year’s camp and will be giving them each their own individual stories throughout the coming weeks.
While some skaters at this year’s camp are already destined to begin the 2013-2014 season at the professional level, other players will have to hope that their strong play at team organized camps will get the attention of Panthers’ coaches. Never a fan of rushing young talent, Panthers’ General Manager Dale Tallon seemed confident that a few skaters in this young group of prospects may have the ability to crack the professional roster this season.
“They’re going to get an equal opportunity to make our team,” said Tallon of the teams talented young skaters. “I don’t care about age. I don’t care about anything but ability and performance which will dictate who plays and who doesn’t.”
Although development camp is known mainly for the showcasing of young talent, the benefits that the players receive extend beyond the hockey rink. Players are also taught how to be independent as they move closer towards the NHL and increasing responsibilities that come with it. In addition, bonding that players go through during these camps has proven to be invaluable as boys find camaraderie in chasing the same goal. While many players in attendance may never skate in the NHL, the lessons they learn and the friendships they make will resonate with them for years to come.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for all of our prospect stories coming in the very near future!
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