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Florida Panthers Wrap: Samoskevich Highlight of Showcase Roster

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Former University of Michigan forward Mackie Samoskevich, pictured with the AHL Charlotte Checkers, will be the focal point of the team’s Prospect Showcase which starts Friday in Estero. // Photo courtesy @CheckersHockey

Hockey is back this week as the Florida Panthers will play host to the annual southeast Rookie Showcase across the Alligator Alley in Estero.

The Panthers will open play Friday night at 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

On Friday, Florida released its roster for the Showcase — each team (Carolina, Nashville and Tampa Bay) will play three games — with former Michigan standout Mackie Samoskevich the big name.

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Not only is Samoskevich the team’s top prospect, but he is a player who could really fight for a roster spot in training camp.

As we wrote about on Friday, regardless of whether Samoskevich is on the team on Opening Night in Minnesota, do not be surprised if he makes his NHL debut with the Panthers at some point this season.

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“He is a very strong skater, he’s got a fabulous shot, he plays the game the right way, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he is physically mature which a lot of guys aren’t when they are first turning pro,’’ Bryan McCabe, Florida’s director of player personnel said during camp.

“The sky’s the limit for that kid. Whether it’s October of this year or January, this kid’s going to play.”

Florida’s lineup for Estero includes a number of players within their system who played for the Charlotte Checkers last season including Justin Sourdif, Patrick Giles, Santtu Kinnunen, Calle Sjalin, Zach Uens and goalie Mack Guzda.

Other players on the roster, including Skyler Brind’Amour and Wilmer Skoog, are signed to AHL deals for this season.

LAST WEEK’S PANTHERS NEWS

The Panthers were celebrated at Marlins Park on Wednesday night with Sam Reinhart throwing out the first pitch before the red-hot Marlins beat the Dodgers.

Reinhart talked about a number of things before his big moment on the mound, including where he stands when it comes to signing a new contract with the Panthers.

A free agent following this season, Reinhart said “it is not something I stress over or lose sleep over too much. They know I want to be here, I know they want me here.’’

Anton Lundell was also at the ballpark and is also due for a new contract. Lundell is a restricted free agent so there is not the rush on making a deal for him although the Panthers are believed to want to sign him to a long-term deal and buy up some of his free agent years.

And, why not? After the end of his past season, Lundell looks like he is going to be a very good player for the Panthers for a very long time.

— Former Panthers coach Joel Quenneville was in Chicago on Friday as he spoke to the NHL’s coaches and general managers to tell his side of the Kyle Beach story. It is another step for Quenneville to try and get back into the league.

— Before Matthew Tkachuk came back to town, he stopped in to visit the Cam & Strick podcast hosted by Cam Janssen and Andy Strickland where he held a wide-ranging interview which went over an hour.

Lots of great stuff here.

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