Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Steven Hodges, a third-round draft pick in 2012, scored a goal and assisted on another in helping the Panthers prospects beat Bruins youngsters 2-0 victory on Saturday at the rookie tournament in Nashville.

"We got better as the game went on," Hodges said. "The first half of the game, we didn't get as many shots as we wanted to. Once we started to get the puck towards it, we got more success and that's something we can build on next game." The Panthers outshot the Bruins 19-1 in the third period and 30-21 overall. Hodges had 47 points in 52 games last season in the WHL.
Sep 14 - 11:35 AM

Shane O'Brien is already working hard in informal workouts as he attempts to make the Panthers' roster.

He is going to attend camp on a tryout basis. O'Brien brings only one thing to the table of interest to poolies--penalty minutes. If O'Brien does make the squad and you need some PIMS from your blueline, the veteran could be a viable pick. However bear in mind, he will likely be a healthy scratch from time to time.
Sep 13 - 11:00 AM

All eyes will be on Aaron Ekblad Saturday night as the Panthers' rookies face off against the Bruins' rookies.

It will be the first game Ekblad will play in a Florida uniform and it goes without saying that the NHL's first overall pick in this past June's entry draft will garner a tremendous amount of attention. "It's going to be fast-paced, there's going to be a lot of good players," said Ekblad. "It's going to be good to get our feet back under us, get the pace where it needs to be." Ekblad has a legitmate shot at starting the season in the Cats' top four and is well worth a mid to late round pick in your fantasy pool regardless of format.
Sep 13 - 10:48 AM

Rocco Grimaldi is hopeful that he'll be in the NHL soon.

He's excited to play in the Panthers' upcoming rookie tournament and to participate in the main team's training camp next week. "I'm just looking forward to everything about it," he said. "Just getting going. I had a good summer skating [with L.A. Kings players] skating and training, and all that other sfuff. I'll come out here do the best I can and hopefully make the team by any means necessary." Grimaldi has spent the last three seasons with University of North Dakota and he's projected to start the year in the minors unless he makes it impossible at camp for Florida to send him down.
Sep 12 - 8:43 AM

Vincent Trocheck wants to be a member of the Florida Panthers when the 2014-15 regular season begins.

I'm coming in with the mindset I'm going to make this team and do whatever it takes. "I'll come into rookie camp and exhibitions and have to put it in their minds that they can't send me down," he said. "Basically, that they have to have me here so that's what I'm going to do." Trocheck appeared in 20 games with the Panthers last year and he contributed eight points, with six coming in his last 11 outings. "Now I know I'm able to do it on the NHL level so definitely the confidence helps going into the season, knowing that I can," said the 21-year-old. "There's no doubt in my mind that I can be here." Florida added Derek MacKenzie and Dave Bolland in the off-season, but Trocheck is still hopes that he can make the team and contribute.
Sep 11 - 9:58 AM

Florida Panthers draftee Aaron Ekblad was voted as the league's top prospect among defensemen in a recent poll of hockey experts.

Ekblad ranked sixth overall on the list, five spots ahead of the next blueliner - Nikita Zadorov of the Buffalo Sabres. Ranking ahead of the Panthers rookie, in order, are Jonathan Drouin, John Gibson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Sam Reinhart and Teuvo Teravainen.
Sep 9 - 9:55 PM

The Florida Panthers' power play is likely to improve by default next season.

Their collective PP shooting percentage was 7.6, which was considerably lower than even the second-worst mark (9.3 percent). It's highly likely that will improve even without personnel changes, especially if Brian Campbell (team-leading 12 PPPs) sticks around.
Sep 6 - 3:48 PM

Aaron Ekblad is "very confident" that he'll be a member of the Florida Panthers on opening night.

"We're hopeful, and we think he can," GM Dale Tallon said. "He's big and strong enough, has the ability. It's just adjusting to the pace. Timing is everything. Moving from junior to the NHL is a big step, especially on the back end defensively." Ekblad has recovered from the concussion he suffered about a month ago and Tallon added that the 2014 top pick had been medically cleared to practice. The Panthers may still be a little cautious with him to start camp
Sep 4 - 10:00 AM

Shane O'Brien will join the Florida Panthers at training camp on a professional tryout.

He was bought out by the Flames in July after he split time between the NHL and AHL last season. In 45 appearances with Calgary, O'Brien had three assists and 58 penalty minutes.
Sep 3 - 11:27 AM

Aaron Ekblad has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.

"We are very pleased to have signed Aaron," said GM Dale Tallon in a statement. "He is a talented, strong, smart and hardworking defenseman who is ready to take the next step in his professional career. We look forward to watching him compete and develop at our prospects camp, throughout our main training camp and in preseason competition." The Panthers chose Ekblad with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft and it's probable that he'll start the year with the big club.
Sep 3 - 11:11 AM

Dave Bolland's fantasy worth in Florida is a bit subdued heading into training camp, as the two-way center might factor into the depth shutdown role he played in Chicago, but can also slot in with the team's offensively gifted wingers.

Florida boasts improved depth at center with Bolland in the mix to join sophomore star Aleksander Barkov and up and comer Nick Bjugstad. Assuming Bolland wins at least the second line spot, that would provide him with either Jonathan Huberdeau or Jussi Jokinen on his left wing, who are both capable of generating offense. Other than those two, the Panthers don't have many established forwards who can spur the offense. Thus, it seems the 28 year-old's expected point output for the coming season falls in the mid-30's.
Aug 24 - 12:14 PM

Aaron Ekblad spoke on Saturday about his recovery from the concussion he sustained earlier this summer, and all signs point to the first overall pick being ready for the start of Panthers' training camp next month.

"The concussion is perfectly, completely gone. I feel great," said Ekblad. "I’ve been skating all this week, working out all this week. It’s gone. I feel great." These quotes from the Globe and Mail contradict a tweet from earlier in the day by the Toronto Sun, where Ekblad is quoted as saying his symptoms are "almost completely gone," and his workouts have been "ok." Whether or not Ekblad is completely symptom-free is unclear, but both sources seem to suggest that Florida's prized defenseman should overcome the setback on time for training camp on Sept. 18.
Aug 23 - 1:08 PM

33 of the NHL's top prospects are in Toronto this weekend for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase, primarily a social and photo-op event for the young stars before training camp starts next month.

The two-day event is based around Upper Deck's rookie card photo shoot, but also features an NHL 15 video game tournament, a light scrimmage, a hall of fame tour and media availability. Ekblad, Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart are among the young guns attending the event.
Source: NHLPA
Aug 23 - 10:55 AM

Aaron Ekblad sustained a concussion when he was hit hard in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic during Canada's summer development camp.

Hockey Canada confirmed the injury, but it is expected that Ekblad will make a "full recovery" and be ready for Florida's training camp in September. "We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure," Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. "We will closely monitor Aaron's health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."
Aug 6 - 1:39 PM

Aaron Ekblad suffered an upper-body injury at Canada's summer development camp that will sideline him for the rest of the week.

He exited a scrimmage on Tuesday in the third period after an open-ice collision with Czech defenseman Lukas Klok. TSN's Ryan Rishaug is reporting that the Florida Panthers and Hockey Canada are playing it safe, but there's some concern that Ekblad may have sustained a concussion. We should get an update on the 2014 first overall pick's status around training camp.
Aug 6 - 11:35 AM

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