Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information!
It's time to peer into the future of the Florida Panthers.
A fundamental steppingstone for any young player on the road to the NHL, many of the team's top prospects will be heading to the Panthers IceDen this week to take part in the organization's annual development camp, which begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday with a scrimmage.
Featuring recent draft picks and undrafted hopefuls, the four-day camp aims to bring prospects closer together and expose them to the rigorous conditioning exercises and work that it takes to reach and remain in the professional ranks, including various on and off-ice workout sessions.
Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau? They all started at this camp.
Don't believe me? Check out the video below!
For fans, the camp is also a great way to snap photos and snag autographs from players before they become household names. As usual, all practice sessions and the scrimmage are free and open to the public. So, ditch the heat and head on over to the rink in Coral Springs for some fun.
The full development camp roster will be released soon, so stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com.
In the meantime, the full camp schedule is as follows:
Thursday, June 27
Red Squad - 1:55 P.M. - 3:10 P.M.
Blue Squad - 3:30 P.M. - 4:45 P.M.
Friday, June 28
Blue Squad - 8:40 A.M. - 10:25 A.M.
Red Squad - 10:40 A.M. - 12:25 P.M.
Saturday, June 29
Red Squad - 8:40 A.M. - 10:25 A.M.
Blue Squad - 10:40 A.M. - 12:25 P.M.
Sunday, June 30
Red/Blue Squad Scrimmage - 9 A.M. - 11 A.M.
THE NEW BATCH
The Panthers welcomed nine new prospects to the Territory this past weekend.
After selecting top-ranked goaltender Spencer Knight with the 13th overall pick in the first round, the franchise went on to find eight other potential gems in Rounds 2-7 at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver, B.C. Overall, their draft haul included three defensemen, five forwards and a goalie.
In perusing some immediate post-draft reactions from around the league, many of the top media outlets have praised the Panthers for spending their first-round pick on a franchise-caliber goalie like Knight, who registered a 59-10-1 record with a with a 2.46 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and two shutouts with the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 team last season.
An exceptionally rare talent, Knight is just the 20th goalie to go in the first round since 2003.
Video: Panthers draft G Spencer Knight No. 13
"Hearing your name called is a dream come true," said Knight, the first goalie ever taken by the Panthers in Round 1. "It doesn't seem real, almost. Growing up, it's all you dream of. They are all great people. We had a lot of good conversations and made a good connection. Going into the draft, I had no expectations as to where I was going. I'm happy to be here, though."
With a wealth of elite forwards already in the pipeline and competing at the NHL level, Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon said he was happy with the job the organization did in using the draft to re-stock its prospect cupboard from the net on out.
"It was necessary to improve our team defense and our depth chart," Tallon said of his strategy throughout the draft. "We want balance and to play with more physicality on the backend, so that's what we addressed. Goaltending was obviously a priority, then defense, and then at the end we added a lot of heavy, big players that can score. We also added a little skill as well. It's a very diverse group that we drafted. I'm excited and happy about the results of our day."
For a full recap of Florida's draft, including videos, notes and quotes from each pick, visit FloridaPanthers.com/DraftCentral.
GET A GROUP TOGETHER
There's nothing quite like celebrating a win with a group of friends.
Whether you're spending the night out with your family, friends or co-workers, the more hands around you to high five after a breakaway goal or jaw-dropping save, the better. Starting at 10 tickets, group experiences are on sale now for the upcoming and ultra-hyped 2019-20 season.
Aside from being surrounded by good company, a group outing also nets the following:
• Discounted Tickets
• Welcome Message on the Jumbotron
• Access to Exclusive Fan Experiences
• Fundraising Opportunities
• Parking Included in Each Individual Ticket
• & More!
Like most ticket offers, there's benefits to jumping on these tickets sooner rather than later as well. By placing a deposit right now, you'll land a spot on the Panthers priority list, which means that you'll be given first priority to the season's best games and most-desirable seat locations.
So gather a group together and head on over to FloridaPanthers.com/groups for more information on how to get started. But, if smaller groups are more your thing, you can sign up for the single-game priority list now HERE.
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
Just moments after being taken with the 13th overall selection, goaltender Spencer Knight spoke with NBC Sports Network about joining the Panthers and meeting head coach Joel Quenneville.
Video: Spencer Knight on mentality, joining the Panthers
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
Check out the latest episode of Territory Talk! Also, on Wednesday, look for a new episode with interviews from the club's new draftees!
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- The Panthers have found their 2019-20 assistant coaches, including a few familiar faces.
-- Applications are currently open for the 2019-20 Community Champions Grant Program.
-- Florida's preseason schedule is here!
- The home opener for th 2019-20 season has been announced! Enter now for a chance to win 2 glass seats and 2019 prospect signed item!
-- The Panthers bolstered their blue line and added depth on Day 2 at the 2019 NHL Draft.
-- Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon believes first-round pick Spencer Knight has what it takes to become a "franchise-type" goaltender.
-- Want to know more about Spencer Knight? These numbers should help.
-- The Panthers plan to be aggressive in free agency, NHL.com writes.
-- Aleksander Barkov finally took home the Lady Byng Trophy. Read why he deserved it this year.
-- Jayce Hawryluk recounts his draft day with the Panthers in 2014.