SUNRISE — Will Lockwood will make his Florida Panthers debut against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old forward earned a call-up from AHL Charlotte after a strong training camp and a two-goal, three-point showing in the Checkers’ first two games.
“He gets on the radar in terms of his professionalism,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.
“He would see the video once, go out and run the routes. He would do exactly what you asked him to do and he does it with speed and he’s got a good stick.
”There weren’t a lot of numbers to suggest that he gets into your top nine but when he left camp here, he certainly put himself in a position when the call goes down, he’s the guy that the coaches say ‘He’s the guy, we should bring him up.’”
Lockwood will get the chance to play those top-nine minutes, slotting in on the third line next to Anton Lundell and Nick Cousins.
“They are great players and I am really excited to play with them,” Lockwood said.
“We practiced together yesterday and I thought we clicked pretty well, so that will make the transition a little bit easier for me.”
Lockwood has seen his fair share of NHL games, playing in 28 and registering three assists in his career with the Vancouver Canucks.
The 6-foot, 178-pound forward adjusted well to the Panther’s system well during camp, bringing in tenacious forechecking and physical play along the boards.
“It’s the pace of play,” Lockwood said when asked what has made the system so easy for him to adjust to.
“It’s all about moving your feet and working hard. It’s something that has been a staple in my game for a long time.”
Anthony Stolarz will also make his Panthers debut, getting the start in net against San Jose.
“He’s been great here,” Maurice said.
“It’s a hard job to know that you go into the crease when the table is not set perfectly. As a backup, you get the second half of back-to-backs, you spell off the number one guy so you kind of get in there under less-than-perfect conditions. But he is a veteran guy and he understands how to do that.
“The other thing the guy does is that he has to work so hard in practice that the players feel indebted to him a little bit. And they want it for him, they appreciate what he’s done in there. He’s a good guy, he’s a talker in the net, which will be good for the number of new people that we have in our lineup, so everybody’s pulling for him.”
- Sam Bennett (LBI) and Jonah Gadjovich (UBI) will both miss Tuesday’s game with injuries and are expected to join the main group for practice on Thursday.
- Steven Lorentz and Anthony Duclair will both play in their first games against their former teams since being traded for each other on July 1.
PANTHERS ON DECK
SAN JOSE SHARKS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Tuesday, 7:45 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932; NHL App
- DraftKings odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-278); Puck line (-1.5, -110); Over/Under 7 (+114/-135)
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- This season: Tuesday @ Florida; @ San Jose, Nov. 14
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 21-13-1, 7 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Seattle, 6 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
21 Nick Cousins // 15 Anton Lundell // 67 Will Lockwood
94 Ryan Lomberg // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 18 Steven Lorentz
42 Gus Forsling // 91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson
77 Niko Mikkola // 7 Dmitry Kulikov
28 Josh Mahura // 26 Uvis Balinksins
72 Sergei Bobrovksy
Scratched: Mike Reilly
Injured: Aaron Ekblad (LTIR-shoulder), Brandon Montour (IR-shoulder), Sam Bennett (IR-LBI), Jonah Gadjovich (UBI)
PROJECTED SAN JOSE SHARKS LINEUP
94 Alexander Barabanov // 48 Tomas Hertl // 10 Anthony Duclair
72 William Eklund // 24 Jacob Peterson // 62 Kevin Labanc
20 Fabian Zetterlund // 7 Nico Sturm // 68 Mike Hoffman
18 Filip Zadina // 17 Thomas Bordeleau // 11 Luke Kunin
38 Mario Ferraro // 4 Kyle Burroughs
71 Nikolai Knyzhov // 84 Jan Rutta
6 Ty Emberson // 5 Matt Benning
29 Mackenzie Blackwood
36 Kaapo Kahkonen
Scratched: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Givani Smith