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Catnip: Knight Shines, Ekblad Offseason

August 1, 2019, 1:36 PM ET [5 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Here with a quick hit for all you Cats fans eager for some Spencer Knight news...

The World Junior Summer Showcase is going on in Plymouth, MI. Honestly, outside of knowing it's a tournament for elite/budding NHL players, I didn't know the skinny on it, so I headed to the Team USA Hockey site to find the below explanation:

"Each August, USA Hockey invites approximately 40 players to the World Junior Summer Showcase, previously recognized as USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp. The event, which will take place in 2019 in Plymouth, Michigan, from July 26 - Aug. 3, is part of the process to select the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which takes place each December.

In mid-December each year, Team USA conducts a training camp that leads to the selection of the final U.S. National Junior Team. That roster may include players who did not attend the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp."

This year, Florida's first-round selection, Spencer Knight, is backstopping the USA Blue team.

And he's off to a great start...

In his first game against Finland, Knight made 26 of 27 saves to lead the US to a 7-1 victory. In his second game, he stopped 22 shots to earn himself a shutout in a 6-0 route of Sweden.

If you're adding up the numbers, that's 48 of 49 total shots Knight has stopped in his two stints thus far. Pretty sweet and a good start for the netminder with aspirations to take over the Panthers crease down the line.

[Image from LitterBoxCats.com]

In other big name FLA prospect news, Serron Noel scored twice in Canada's 8-3 loss to Finland.

Lastly, the Panthers site has a nice piece about Ekblad's offseason.

You can skip past the wedding portion of the article (congrats to the guys getting married) and get to the meat of the piece - which focuses on some aspects of Ekblad's offseason routine. It sounds like #5, like most of us, is just as excited for the moves made this summer and buzz heading into the season - and he's using that mojo to focus his training for this upcoming season.

I like Ekblad and he's had his ups and downs over the years. I always feel like he's right on the edge of putting it all together and being that guy we know he can be on the blueline.

"The biggest thing for us is to get back into the playoffs. As we've seen year after year, anything can happen once you get there. Eighth seeds can win. I remember when Los Angeles won not too long ago. I also don't think anyone expected St. Louis to win, but they did. It all comes down to grit and resilience. I think we have a lot of that with our team now."

Let's hope there's truth to that "grit and resilience" line...

Also, I'd love to have this setup in my garage!

Go Panthers!
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