Less than 24 hours from now, the Florida Panthers start their first on-ice day of Prospects camp before heading out to Nashville and taking part in their annual rookie tournament.
The Panthers prospects will join rookies from the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the host team, Nashville Predators in a four-team, round-robin tournament at Ford Ice Center from Sept. 13-16.
Headlining the group Florida will bring to the Music City is 2014 First Overall pick, D Aaron Ekblad as well as F Rocco Grimaldi (2011 2/33rd), F Vincent Trocheck (2011 3/64th) and D Jonathan Racine (2011 3/87th).
“I’m taking it one day at a time”, said Ekblad, 18 who will be participating in his first official camp. “The milestones it takes to get here have been long but it’s been a fun journey and I’m excited to be in this position.”
“The workouts are done, so now I get to go on the ice tomorrow with the guys and be ready for camp over in Nashville.”
Among the group of rookie camp first-timers is Grimaldi. The Anaheim, California native spent the last three seasons as a standout for the University of North Dakota before he signed his entry level contract on May, 7.
“I’m just looking forward to everything about it,” Said Grimaldi, 21.
“I’m looking forward to coming out here and doing the best I can and hopefully making the team, by any means necessary.”
“I’m just here to do the best I can. Obviously I can’t control everything but I can control some things”, said Grimaldi.
The Panthers start skating on Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the JetBlue Training Facility at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, FL.
Five Quick Hits
- Aaron Ekblad makes his rookie camp debut. Ekblad is the youngest player at rookie camp for Florida.
- Rocco Grimaldi makes his rookie camp debut.
- 2010 (4/92nd), G Sam Brittain makes his rookie camp debut.
- The first three selections of Florida’s 2014 Draft will all be in attendance Ekblad (1/1st), Jayce Hawryluk (2/32nd), Juho Lammikko (3/65th).
- Four 2011 draft picks are in attendance for rookie camp…Grimaldi, Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Racine and Logan Shaw (3/26th)