Axeman Heelis invited to Panthers Prospect Camp

Hockey’s Liam Heelis attends NHL Florida Panthers Camp


story courtesy of 04/09/2013 10:32 am

WOLFVILLE, NS – Third year Acadia Axemen hockey forward Liam Heelis will pursue every hockey players 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, 16 forwards).

Beginning with medical and physical testing on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the BB&T Center, the first on-ice practice session will take place on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. at the JetBlue Training Facility at the Iceplex.

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 & Nashville Predators) with a game against Nashville’s prospects on Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. All four teams will compete in a round robin tournament that concludes on Sunday, Sept. 8. A complete prospects camp game schedule can be found below.

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, Liam spent one season with the Owen Sound Attack and won an OHL championships and several seasons the Peterborough Petes of the OHL.

Some of the notable Panthers prospects attending the camp include Aleksander Barkov who was chosen 2nd overall in the 2013 NHL draft

Acadia head coach Darren Burns noted that 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. 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.”

As for Heelis, he is grateful for the opportunity. “I am very thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given by the Florida Panthers organization. It is something I’ve always dreamed of and have been working hard to achieve my entire life. It could not have come without all the guidance and support from my family, teammates and coaches. Their encouragement, assistance and wishes along with those from schoolmates and alumni have been astounding.”

Adding, “It is a very exciting time for me as a player and a great opportunity to represent not only my school and teammates but the AUS and CIS hockey as a premier league for player development. Players like Joel Ward (UPEI), Daryl Boyce (UNB), and Kevin Henderson (UNB) have proven themselves at the NHL level and opened the door for players such as myself. I feel well prepared and confident going into camp and I am ready to take the ice and put my game to the test amongst the other prospects at camp”.

The Axemen open up their exhibition season on the weekend of September 21-22 with the annual Don Wells Memorial Hockey tournament featuring StFX, Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s.