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Florida Panthers Prospects: Cole Schwindt named AHL Rookie of Month

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Florida Panthers prospect Cole Schwindt recorded 10 points in December — and also made his NHL debut — for the Charlotte Checkers. // Graphic courtesy @CheckersHockey

It was one heck of a month for Cole Schwindt. Not only was the Florida Panthers prospect named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month after recording 10 points off two goals, but he also made his NHL debut with the Panthers on Dec. 16 against the Los Angeles Kings.

His NHL debut was his third game in as many nights, as he was called up from Charlotte along with three other players after the team played a back-to-back against the Rochester Americans.

“Getting a chance to play your first NHL game is something that every kid dreams of,” Schwindt said. “I didn’t have much trouble getting legs for tonight.”

He notched two assists in the two AHL games he played prior to his NHL debut, then recorded five hits and a takeaway in 9:27 of time-on-ice in Florida’s 4-1 loss to the Kings.

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Schwindt had a day of rest after he got back from Sunrise the next day, then added another two assists in a two-game set against the Bridgeport Islanders that weekend before heading into the holiday break.

The Checkers were supposed to return to action for the first time in nearly two weeks on Monday, but their two-game set against the Texas Stars was postponed.

Charlotte is now scheduled to return Saturday at Bridgeport.

With the team out of action, the Panthers recalled Aleksi Heponiemi, Chase Priskie, and Matt Priskie and added them to their taxi squad.

In other Panthers prospect news, Justin Sourdif returned to the WHL’s Vancouver Giants after representing Team Canada in the shortened IIHF World Junior Championship, which was canceled last week.

The 2020 third-round pick recorded two assists in a 4-3 overtime win against the Kelowna Rockets.

Cole Krygier, who was selected by the Panthers in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL Draft, also notched an assist this weekend in a 3-2 Spartans win against Michigan Tech.

Panthers 2020 fourth-round pick Mike Benning scored a goal in a two-game weekend set against the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Benning has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 18 games for the University of Denver this season.

Many of Florida’s prospects are still on holiday breaks and are set to return next week.

Most notably, Quinnipiac University’s Ty Smilanic and Michigan’s Mackie Samoskevich will be playing their first games since returning from the World Juniors next weekend.

 Games PlayedGoals Assists Points
C Justin Sourdif
(WHL, Vancouver Giants)
1022
D Mike Benning
(NCAA, University of Denver)
2101
D Cole Krygier
(NCAA, Michigan State University)
2011
C Aleksi Saarela
(NL, SCL Tigers)
0000
C Mackie Samoskevich
(NCAA, University of Michigan)
0000
D Carter Berger
(NCAA, University of Connecticut)
1000
D Tyler Inamoto
(NCAA, University of Wisconsin)
2000
C Owen Lindmark
(NCAA University of Wisconsin)
0000
D Braden Hache
(OHL, Kingston Frontenacs)
0000
D Kasper Puutio
(Liiga, KalPa)
0000
D Santtu Kinnunen
(Liiga, Tappara)
1000
C Aleksi Heponiemi
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
LW Grigori Denisenko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
D Max Gildon
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
0000
RW Serron Noel
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
0000
C Logan Hutsko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
D Matt Kiersted
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
RW Cole Schwindt
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
C Henry Bowlby
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
C Ty Smilanic
(NCAA, Quinipiac)
0000
D Evan Nause
(QMJHL, Quebec Remparts)
0000
D John Ludvig
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000

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