Getting to know the non-Panthers invites to development camp
Longshots come to the Sunshine State looking for a chance
The Florida Panthers will hold a development camp from September 10 to 14 at Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs and will also participate in the Prospect Showcase Tournament at Advent Health Center Ice complex in Wesley Chapel from September 18 to 21 that will be hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators also taking part.
While Florida’s 24-man roster for the camp contains plenty of familiar names like recent first-round picks Anton Lundell, Spencer Knight and Grigori Denisenko, as well as Cats prospects selected in later rounds, there are also a host of other players looking to get noticed in hopes of getting chosen in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft or earning a professional contract. Let’s take at the guys who will participate that aren’t Panthers property.
Eric Alarie: Despite upping his offensive production from the season prior, the 18-year-old went undrafted after posting 10 goals and 10 assists in 19 games for the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. He produced seven goals and 21 points in 61 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
According to EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide - Few prospects are better playmakers than Alarie off-the-puck. With a quick series of shoulder-checks before touching the puck, he maps out his options and threats, then establishes body positioning. He’s rarely stationary, consistently finishing his off-puck routes, playing between checks, and using subtle bumps and stick lifts to keep passing lanes open.
Justin Nachbaur: A tough 21-year-old, Nachbaur comes to camp with 216 games of major junior experience with the Prince Albert Raiders to his credit. He finished his WHL career with a total of 45 goals, 89 points and 228 PIM. He best season came in 2018-19, when he scored 19 goals and 31 points and finished with a +25 rating.
Simon Pinard: Pinard, 20, produced over a point per game in his third season with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL, finishing with 15 goals and 14 assists in 24 games. In 2019-20, he posted career-highs with 29 goals, 18 assists and 47 points in 58 games played.
According to EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide - Pinard plays with a lot of pace. His skating projects as above average and he makes good use of it at the junior level. He wins loose pucks, guns out of the zone ahead of breakouts and generally creates a ton of breakaways for himself. Pinard works hard and knocks passes away in the defensive zone, which earned him a role on the penalty kill.
Connor Trenholm: After going goalless in his first season with Cape Breton Eagles of the QMJHL, Trenholm potted 10 goals and added 10 assists in 37 games in 2020-21. The now 18-year-old finished the season with 18 PIM and a -13 rating. Trenholm wasn’t selected in the 2021 draft, so he will be looking to boost his stock for the 2022 event.
Trevor Wong; Wong is an undersized (5’8”, 154 lbs) left wing who put up 16 points (6G/10A) in 16 games with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Despite the low number of games played, his assist and point-totals were career-bests as he finished with just six goals, eight assists and 14 points in 58 games during the 2019-20 season.
According to EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide - He takes and makes passes without breaking stride, builds speed underneath the puck to create a speed advantage up the ice, and high crossover integration and dot lane use to manipulate defenders’ feet and drive plays up the middle. Wong’s always finding space, whether that’s off the rush or with sustained pressure. He fears nothing, evident by his constant attacks to the inside without a care for his safety.
Frédéric Brunet: After appearing in just one major junior game with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic in 2019-20, the 18-year-old Brunet played 33 (out of 39) this past season and scored one goal and added eight assists to go along with a -6 rating. He played in all eight of Rimouski’s postseason games and contributed three helpers.
Robert Calisti: The 20-year-old Calisti played in his first-ever professional game with the AHL’s Belleville Senators on March 15, and registered an assist. Unfortunately, that was his only appearance of the 2020-21 season. In his final junior season with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL, he racked up 18 goals and 32 assists in 64 games.
According to EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide - Calisti’s game is built on his effortless skating stride. He consistently extends his crossovers, integrating them into his acceleration pattern and open-ice skating. He’s such an adventurous, confident player in the offensive zone. He’s an adept playmaker that can find teammates through levels. He’s also got a pretty great shot, and he’s not shy about getting it off.
Jacob LeGuerrier: A former teammate of Calisti’s with the Soo Greyhounds, LeGuerrier produced six goals (for a second-straight season) and career-bests with 25 assists and 31 points in 61 games in 2019-20. The 20-year-old made a total of four appearances with the AHL’s Laval Rocket last season, finishing with 4 PIM and a +2 rating.
Olivier Adam: A teammate of Pinard’s with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, the 19-year-old Adam posted a 12-7-3 record in his second season with the team. He recorded a 3.30 GAA, .898 save percentage and one shutout. He lost the number one job to Charles-Édward Gravel and appeared in just two of the Armada’s nine playoff games. His strengths are his poise, positioning and athleticism. He needs to work on his rebound control and puck-handling. Adam has moved to Baie-Comeau Drakkar for the upcoming season.
Tye Austin: Due to the complete cancellation of the OHL season, the Peterborough Petes goaltender did not see any game action in 2020-21, despite signing an ATO with the Belleville Senators. In 2019-20, the tall (6’5”) and lanky (200 lbs) Austin went an underwhelming 6-7-1 with a 3.97 GAA and .871 save percentage for the Petes, who iced a solid squad in front of him. Ranked No. 14 among North American goalies by NHL Central Scouting heading into the 2020 draft, he was not selected.