Third year Acadia Axemen hockey forward Liam Heelis will pursue every hockey player’s dream of making the big leagues this week as he attends the NHL's Florida Panthers Prospects Camp.
Heelis, a native of Georgetown, Ont., will take part in the annual Panthers' camp, which will include 28 players (three goalies, nine defensemen and 16 forwards).
Beginning with medical and physical testing today, the first on-ice practice session will take place on Sept. 5 at 9 a.m.
Heelis is one of 16 forwards and the only current CIS player on the team roster. The Panthers open a four-team prospects tournament (Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators) with a game against Nashville's prospects on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. All four teams will compete in a round robin tournament that concludes on Sept. 8.
This past season, Heelis netted 10 goals and added 12 assists in 28 games with the Axemen. Prior to his last two seasons in Wolfville, Heelis spent one season with the Owen Sound Attack and the Peterborough Petes of the OHL.
Some of the notable Panthers prospects attending the camp include Aleksander Barkov, who was chosen second overall in the 2013 NHL draft
Acadia head coach Darren Burns said Heelis has the potential to carry on with hockey upon graduating Acadia.
"We are very happy for Liam to get an opportunity to show his abilities at this camp,” Burns said. “There is no doubt that he will have a lengthy pro career ahead of him upon graduation. Its great to see an organization like Florida with so much young talent have him on their radar."
The Axemen open up their exhibition season on the weekend of Sept. 21-22 with the annual Don Wells Memorial Hockey tournament featuring St. FX, Dalhousie and Saint Mary's.
See more in the Sept. 10 Advertiser.