FORT LAUDERDALE – The year of Marek Alscher is continuing.

With an opportunity to go pro, it could be an even bigger year.

“I'm just taking it, working as hard as I can and will see where I end up playing,” Alscher, who inked a three-year entry level contract with the Florida Panthers in March of 2023, said following the first day of development camp on Monday. “I'm super excited to have a chance to turn pro, but I know the only thing I can control is how hard I'm going to work and how prepared I'm going to be.”

This past season, that hard work yielded plenty of results.

In January, Alscher, a big body on the blue line at 6-foot-3, took home a bronze medal after helping Czechia take down Finland in an intense 8-5 win at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“It was awesome,” said Alscher, who suited up in seven games at the tournament. “The World Juniors is probably the best hockey experience I ever had. How the game went, for us I feel like for the whole team it felt like Gold. It was just awesome to just continue that World Juniors success.”

That success wasn’t limited to the international stage.

Taking the ice for his third season with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, the 20-year-old rearguard set new career-highs in assists (19), points (26) and plus/minus (+32) in 57 games.

Helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL Final, he also tallied five points in 18 playoff games.

A recipient of many a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Alscher in Portland, Josh Davies, a fellow Panthers prospect at this week’s camp, believes his teammate has a nice mix of strength and skill.

“He's a tremendous defenseman,” said Davies, who was traded to the Winterhawks in August. “He got drafted for a reason and signed for a reason. He's going to make the jump next year, no problem. He's a bigger defenseman that plays physical, but also can hold down the D-zone and block shots.”

As much as he produces, Alscher is also a protector for his teammates.

“He's a guy you want on your team,” Davies said. “He sticks up for teammates and is a guy that can score the odd goal, block the shot in big moments and is a good penalty-killer here. He’s a leader.”

This week, Alscher is hoping to pick up anything he can to prepare for training camp in September.

For a player trying to turn pro, everything little bit of advice helps.

“I'm just trying to get some feedback,” Alscher said. “What should I work on, maybe what can I take from this camp and work on in the in the summer. If there's something that's probably not that good if I should work on that or what's good, just you know get all the feedback that I can from the coaches and from the trainers and just work on it.”

For the young defenseman, that work has already begun.

“I already started my summer practices, but now it's a good chance to still change something if there's a problem,” Alscher said. “I have two months, that's enough time to work on a lot of things.”

When the prospects return to South Florida for training camp, Alscher will be a player to watch.

Stay tuned to for more on development camp during the week.

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