Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.
It was an exciting week at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, as Florida Panthers prospects Owen Tippett (CAN), Jonathan Ang (CAN), Max Gildon (USA) and Tyler Inamoto (USA) suited up for their respective countries at the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase.
This year's showcase featured 12 international competitions between prospects from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States in preparation for the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship that will take place Dec. 26, 2017 through Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, New York.
Ang, a fourth-round pick (94th overall) of the Panthers in the 2016 NHL Draft, put up the best numbers among Florida's prospects at the event, notching two points (1-1-2) in two games, including a nice goal in Canada's 7-4 victory over Sweden on Friday.
A third-round pick (66th overall) of the Panthers in this year's draft, Gildon, an offensive-minded blue liner, also fared very well, scoring a goal in USA Blue's 4-1 victory over Finland on July 30 while also owning an overall plus-three rating over three tournament games.
Way to represent, guys!
Are you more interested in the action in the broadcast booth rather than the ice?
Well, you're in luck!
The Panthers Broadcast & Game Presentation Camp will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the BB&T Center. The camp is designed for children ages 13-17 who want to learn more about broadcasting and what goes on behind-the-scenes at an NHL game.
With Panthers radio and television personalities like Steve Goldstein, Randy Moller and Doug Plagens in attendance, campers will partake in numerous entertainment-centric activities, including on-camera segments, hands-on work and instruction, public address announcing and radio play-by-play. Here's a quick look at last year's camp:
Video: 2016 Florida Panthers Broadcast Camp
Stay tuned to @FlaPanthers on Twitter for updates throughout the week.
VIKTOR E. DASH
The Panthers will host their second annual Viktor E. Dash in conjunction with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the BB&T Center on Nov. 4, 2017.
The 5k race will kick off at 8 a.m. and the one-mile race will begin at 8:45 a.m., with each racer receiving a special Viktor E. Dash T-Shirt and custom finishers' medal.
The One Mile Race, named the Peggy Ziady Memorial Walk/Run, will take place in memory of the Panthers Director of Human Resources & Payroll Peggy Ziady. Peggy, who spent 12 years working for the Panthers, was a colleague, friend and mentor to every life she touched.
A portion of race registrations will be given to the Florida Panthers Foundation and to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Additionally, all registered racers will receive one ticket for the Panthers vs. Rangers game on Nov. 4, 2017 or Panthers vs. Stars on Nov. 14, 2017.
You can register for the race HERE.
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
It might be the offseason, but the Panthers are always active in the community.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- After helping the University of Denver capture a national title in 2016-17, goaltending prospect Evan Cowley is ready to turn an opportunity in the AHL into an NHL contract with the Panthers.
"That's exactly what I signed up for," said Cowley, a fourth-round pick (92nd overall) of the Panthers in the 2013 NHL Draft. "They basically told me this is a year to really earn it. I obviously didn't play as much as I wanted to [at Denver], but I think it's on me to show that I can handle a starting workload and earn that contract next year."
-- The Panthers recently re-signed defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to a one-year, two-way contract. Weegar, 23, made his NHL debut with Florida on April 3, 2017 against the Montreal Canadiens.
-- After what he described as a "tough year all around," defenseman Aaron Ekblad is ready to help the Panthers return to form in 2017-18.
"I feel I've made strides in a lot of my game and I've gotten a lot stronger, a lot better shape and confident," Ekblad said.
-- In the latest edition of our summer "Season Rewind" series we take a look at top-pairing defenseman Keith Yandle, who led all Panthers blue liners with 41 points (5-36-41) in 82 games in 2016-17.
"I'm in a great situation with how good of a team that we have," Yandle said after cleaning out his locker in April. "We obviously know that we're going to be better than this year. I think it's exciting for me to know the group of guys that are coming back."
-- The 2017 Summer Cats ball hockey champions were crowned at the BB&T this past week.
-- Group tickets are on sale now.