Joseph Beguiristain, University of Miami
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - When right winger Logan Shaw
heard his name called in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft back in June, he couldn’t believe it.
“My heart dropped when they called my name, it wasn’t something I was expecting,” Shaw said. “And now I think back to it and it was an incredible experience and to be able to be here is a lifetime experience.”
Shaw wasn’t expecting to be picked so high, but perhaps the main reason why his heart dropped could be for a whole other reason.
“My first hockey jersey was a Florida Panthers jersey. Yeah, I think it was just fate. My mom actually bought me one,” said Shaw. “I was two years old and my mom bought me the jersey. I actually still have it at home.”
He saw that jersey again shortly after he was drafted, but on his good friend from back home.
“When I got drafted to Florida, my buddy, he was about six feet and 210 pounds,” he explained. “He put the jersey on and met me at the airport. It was like a little belly top on him.”
Shaw is from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, a place in Canada not known for churning NHL talent. Shaw and his childhood friends started playing hockey at a young age, like most prospects.
He reflected on his early years saying, “Me and my two buddies and the two dads, we all played together, and their dads coached us the whole way up, from tots.”
Shaw played in the Junior Hockey league in Canada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which he said had good competition and got him ready for the NHL. Upon entering, Shaw didn’t get much playing time but last year he finally got his opportunity to showcase his talents.
“My first two years it was rough and I never really got to play,” Shaw said who posted 46 points (26-20) in 68 games. “I was fourth and fifth line and last year was the year I really got to show what I had and I think I did pretty good.”
So good, that he was part of the best line in Sunday night’s rookie game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Shaw, alongside centers Scott Timmins
and Jonathan Huberdeau
, kept fans on the edge of their seat and impressed the capacity crowd. He may have shown his skills with a nice assist to Timmins for the first goal of the night, but he knows he will have to get used to the speed of the pro game.
“It was a lot faster than what I am used to,” he explained after his first action in a Panther uniform. “And my legs were a little tired after my first game but you know it’s something that’s going to take time to get used to and hopefully I can jump into that.”
Shaw looks to continue to acclimate to the pro game and impress the coaches to earn a spot on the final roster. Maybe he can see his friend wear that “belly top” again.