Yellowknife, NWT – Yellowknife-born Steven Hodges knows he must be patient despite impressive performances at a Florida Panthers prospects camp.
The 20-year-old centre, a third-round pick for the Panthers in the 2012 draft, tied for the lead in points as his Panthers prospects beat all three opposing teams in their tournament.
However, he faces plenty of competition in his chosen position and believes AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage could be his destination for the coming season.
“I want to push myself to make the NHL as soon as possible,” Hodges told Moose FM. “But it’s most likely you get sent down to the AHL to develop your pro game for a bit. If you’re successful at that, then you make the jump.
“Obviously, the best-case scenario is making the NHL. But I do believe I have a lot of work ahead of me still.
“The road is long when you’re trying to make an NHL team. It’s very exciting, though. I’m very happy with the opportunity I’ve been given and I just want to make the best of it.”
Hodges’ father, Graham, said: “Steven’s had a very good tournament and he’s quite happy with how things have gone.
“Florida has been weak in the centre position for the last several years, but they’ve consciously really beefed up that position now.
“They’re all fighting for jobs at the end of the day, be that with the Panthers or the Rampage.”
Hodges now lines up alongside the likes of Roberto Luongo, Shawn Thornton and Nick Bjugstad at the Panthers’ main training camp beginning on Friday, where the organization will reassign players and narrow down its roster for the season ahead.
CJCD Moose FM News