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Panthers 2021 Development Camp Primer

by Jameson Olive @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Grab your hockey sticks, skates and s'mores.

It's time to go camping!

A crucial resource for prospects on their journey through the organization's pipeline, the Panthers will officially open up their annual development camp on Saturday at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.

With a mixture of signed and unsigned draft picks, as well as numerous skaters attending on try-out agreements, Florida's 24-man camp roster currently consists of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders, including a trio of recent first-round picks in center Anton Lundell (12th overall, 2020), goalie Spencer Knight (13th overall, 2019) and winger Grigori Denisenko (15th overall, 2018).

"It's really exciting," Lundell said of camp earlier this week. "I can't wait for the season to get going."

This will mark the organization's first development camp since 2019 after last year's camp was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, due to camp being held a bit later than it has been in the past, prospects playing in the collegiate ranks or internationally will not be in attendance due to scheduling.

Prior to heading across the state for a Prospect Showcase Tournament, the Panthers will host four on-ice sessions at their practice facility. These sessions are closed to the public, but fans can keep up with the action by following @FlaPanthers, @JamesonCoop, @DougPlagens and @Katie_Gaus on Twitter.

In addition to on-ice work, prospects will also participate in off-ice workouts and team-building events.

"After being unable to hold a development camp last summer, we are excited to be able to welcome many of our prospects back to South Florida for these events," Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a release when the camp's roster was initially announced last month. "As they work toward becoming professional hockey players, camps such as this provide invaluable resources."

Kicking off on Sept. 18, the Prospect Showcase Tournament will pit Panthers prospects against those from the Hurricanes, Predators and Lightning, who are hosting the event at AdventHealth Center in Wesley Chapel, Fla. Over the course of the four-day event, the Panthers will play each team once.

For a full schedule of events and to learn a little about each Cats prospect, continue reading below.

THE PROSPECTS

Forwards

Eric Alarie (No. 91): Earning an invite to development camp after going undrafted in July, Alarie led Moose Jaw in the WHL in both goals (10) and points (20) in 19 games last season. Ranked 51st among North American skaters going into this year's draft, the 18-year-old forward has registered 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 82 career games with the Warriors over the past three seasons.

Karch Bachman (No. 85): One of the elder statesmen at this year's development camp, Bachman was originally selected by the Panthers in the fifth round (132nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. After graduating from Miami University (Ohio), the 24-year-old forward made his professional debut this past season with Greenville in the ECHL, amassing 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in 32 games.

Henry Bowlby (No. 41): No Panthers prospect played more games with Syracuse this past season than Bowlby. After spending three seasons at Harvard University, the 24-year-old forward inked a two-year, entry-level contract with Florida as an undrafted free agent in August of 2020. Successfully making the jump to the AHL, he tallied 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 23 games with the Crunch in 2020-21.

Grigori Denisenko (No. 14): Taken by the Panthers with the 15th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Denisenko is fresh off his first season playing in North America. After honing his skills for two seasons in the KHL, the 21-year-old saw time in both the AHL and NHL in 2020-21. In addition to racking up four assists in seven games with Florida, he also posted five goals and four assists in 15 games with Syracuse.

Logan Hutsko (No. 89): Preparing for his first season in the professional ranks, Hutsko was selected by the Panthers in the third round (89th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft. During his four seasons at Boston College, the 22-year-old forward tallied 101 points (41 goals, 60 assists) in 114 games. In 2018-19, he finished the season ranking seventh in the nation in goals per game with 19 scores in 30 contests.

Anton Lundell (No. 15): The 12th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lundell is preparing to embark on his first season in North America after fine-tuning his game in Finland's top professional league, Liiga, over the past three seasons. In 2020-21, the 19-year-old forward led HIFK with a career-high 16 goals while also serving as an alternate captain. Shining bright on the international stage as a key player for Finland, he won a bronze medal at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and a silver medal at the 2021 IIHF World Championship. At the World Championship, he racked up a team-leading four goals.

Justin Nachbaur (No. 54): Earning his first invite to an NHL development camp, Nachbaur has spent the past four seasons in the WHL. In 2020-21, the 21-year-old forward paced Prince Albert with nine goals in 22 games. Complimenting his offense with physicality, he also led the WHL with 62 penalty minutes.

Serron Noel (No. 18): After four seasons in the OHL, Noel made his professional debut this past season in the AHL. Appearing in eight games with Syracuse in 2020-21, he accumulated four points (one goal, three assists). Taken in the second round (34th overall) by the Panthers in the 2018 NHL Draft, the 21-year-old forward, who stands 6-foot-5 and 216 pounds, amassed 202 points (88 goals, 114 assists) over 241 career games in the OHL.

Simon Pinard (No. 78): An undrafted invitee to development camp, Pinard produced at better than a point-per-game pace during his second season with Blainville-Boisbriand in the QMJHL, registering 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 24 games. The season prior, the 20-year-old forward finished tied for first on the Armada with a career-high 29 goals. In the last two seasons, he's scored 43 goals in 82 games.

Cole Schwindt (No. 79): A third-round pick (81st overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft, Schwindt was able to get his feet wet in the professional ranks a year early after the OHL cancelled its 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Appearing in 10 games with Syracuse in the AHL, the 20-year-old forward recorded a goal and an assist before finishing out the season on Florida's taxi squad. During his final junior season in 2019-20, he set career-highs in goals (28), assists (43) and points (71) in 57 games with Mississauga.

Justin Sourdif (No. 24): Making his first appearance at development camp, Sourdif, a third-round selection (87th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft, is coming off a breakout season in which he led Vancouver and ranked tied for third in the entire WHL with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 22 games. One of just 51 players invited to Hockey Canada's National Junior Team Summer Development Camp this summer, the 19-year-old forward has scored 60 goals over 143 games during his first three full campaigns with the Giants.

Connor Trenholm (No. 75): Garnering an invite to camp after going undrafted in July, Trenholm was ranked 137th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting's final pre-draft rankings. Only just celebrating his 18th birthday in August, he recorded 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games with Cape Breton in the QMJHL in 2020-21. Over his first two seasons with the Eagles, he's compiled 27 points in 54 games.

Trevor Wong (No. 84): Praised as one of the top undrafted players coming out of the WHL in 2021, Wong led Kelowna in scoring with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 16 games this past season. Over his first two full seasons with the Rockets, the 18-year-old forward has tallied 12 goals and 18 assists in 74 games.

Defensemen

Frédéric Brunet (No. 47): Undrafted in July, Brunet was ranked 214th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting heading into the draft. Suiting up in his first full season in the QMJHL, the 18-year-old defenseman posted nine points (one goal, eight assists) in 33 games with Rimouski in 2020-21. Also lacing up his skates in eight games during the postseason, he led the club's blueliners with three assists.

Robert Calisti (No. 38): Receiving an invitation to development camp, Calisti only appeared in one game this past season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the OHL season was cancelled, he inked an amateur tryout contract with Belleville in the AHL, posting one assist during his lone contest. But over the course of the two previous seasons, the 20-year-old defenseman registered 57 points (20 goals, 37 assists) in 123 games with Soo in the OHL. In 2019-20, he led all Greyhounds blueliners with 18 goals in 64 games.

Max Gildon (No. 88): A third-round pick (66th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, Gildon took home some hardware following his first season in the professional ranks. Named to the AHL All-Rookie Team, the 22-year-old defenseman registered 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in 32 games with Bakersfield. In the playoffs, he added three assists in six games with the Condors. Prior to turning pro, he rattled off three straight 20-plus point seasons at the University of New Hampshire.

Braden Haché (No. 6): A seventh-round pick (210th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, Haché chipped in five assists from the blue line in 29 games during his debut season with Kingston in 2019-20. Despite being unable to take the ice this past season due to the OHL's shutdown, the 18-year-old defenseman still received an accolade, winning the Dayna Brons Honorary Award as Kingston's "Hockey Gives Blood" ambassador.

Matt Kiersted (No. 8): After inking a two-year, entry-level contract as an undrafted free agent in April, Kiersted went on to appear in seven games with the Panthers to close out the 2020-21 season. In those contests, the 23-year-old defenseman produced 10 blocked shots and six shots on goal. Prior to turning pro, he tallied 77 points (20 goals, 57 assists) in 127 games over four seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Jacob LeGuerrier (No. 36): A fifth-round pick (126th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft, LeGuerrier was invited to Florida's development camp after going unsigned by Montreal this summer. With the 2020-21 OHL season cancelled, the 20-year-old competed in four games with Laval in the AHL. Prior to cutting his teeth in the pros, he posted 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists) in 226 career games with Soo in the OHL.

John Ludvig (No. 53): A third-round pick (69th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft, Ludvig completed his first season in the professional ranks in 2020-21. Taking the ice for 13 games with Syracuse in the AHL, the 21-year-old defenseman produced eight points (two goals, six assists) and 13 penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, he posted a career-high 62 points (17 goals, 45 assists) in 60 games with Portland in the WHL in 2019-20.

Evan Nause (No. 12): Florida's first pick on Day 2 of the 2021 NHL Draft, Nause, who was taken in the second round with the 56th overall pick, led all rookie defenseman in the QMJHL with 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) in 32 games with the Remparts in 2020-21. Before taking his talents to Quebec, the 18-year-old appeared in 44 games with Sioux Falls of the USHL in 2019-20, notching 17 points in 44 games.

Goaltenders

Olivier Adam (No. 60): Ranked fourth among North American goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting heading into the 2021 NHL Draft, Olivier earned an invite to development camp after going undrafted. Manning the pipes in the QMJHL with Blainville-Boisbriand in 2020-21, the 19-year-old posted a 12-7-3 record with a 3.30 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. In 47 career appearances with the Armada, he's gone 21-15-5.

Tye Austin (No. 39): Sidelined throughout the 2020-21 season due to the OHL shutdown, Austin, an invitee to this year's development camp, went 6-7-1 with a 3.97 goals-against average and .871 save percentage during his last full campaign with Peterborough in 2019-20. Over the course of his first two seasons with the Petes, he's posted a 11-14-1 record.

Spencer Knight (No. 30): The 13th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Knight looked calm and collected during his first stint in the NHL. Putting pen to paper on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Panthers after wrapping up a stellar career at Boston College in March, the 20-year-old goaltender registered a 4-0-0 record with a 2.32 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in four appearances with Florida to close out the 2020-21 regular season. Also in between the pipes for two games during the playoffs against the cross-state rival Lightning, he went 1-1-0 with a 2.06 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. On the international stage, he backstopped the United States to a gold medal at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 5-1-0 record, 1.63 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and three shutouts.

CAMP SCHEDULE (CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC)

Saturday, Sept. 11

On-Ice Practice: 10 A.M. - 11 A.M.

Sunday, Sept. 12

On-Ice Practice: 10 A.M. - 11 A.M.

Monday, Sept. 13

On-Ice Practice: 10 A.M. - 11 A.M.

Tuesday, Sept. 14

On-Ice Practice: 10 A.M. - 11 A.M.

PROSPECT SHOWCASE TOURNAMENT

Saturday, Sept. 18

Panthers vs. Hurricanes: 10 A.M.

Sunday, Sept. 19

Panthers vs. Predators: 10 A.M.

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Panthers vs. Lightning: 1 P.M.

FOLLOW ALONG

There's plenty of ways to keep up with this year's development camp.

Following each on-ice session, look for written and video content at FloridaPanthers.com.

Additionally, make sure to follow @FlaPanthers on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

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