Rising NHL stars come to SWFL to showcase their talent

Author: ZACH OLIVERI Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Rookies from the National Hockey League are flooding into Southwest Florida.

Monday is the last day of the Southeast Rookie Showcase, featuring prospects from teams all over the league.

The next generation of NHL players is showcasing their skills at the rookie showcase, which is an opportunity the Clark family from Raleigh couldn’t pass up.

“He’s off from school right now, so this is kind of like a special vacation for him,” said Ethan Clark.

Ethan and Benjamin Clark love their Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes’ young talent was on the ice Monday, along with prospects from the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators.

“The pace of play is so much quicker than what we see in the ECHL,” said Dave Weyant, a south Fort Myers resident.

“I just like watching the rookies. They’re fighting for a place in the NHL,” said Rick Highland, a North Fort Myers resident.

“We watch these guys come up. We see them get drafted every year. So you know it’s fun to see them through the developmental process,” said Clark. “I know a lot of them are in the ECHL right now but hopefully, in the next couple of years, we’ll see them in Raleigh playing professionally at the highest level.”

This is the first time the rookie showcase has been held at Hertz Arena.

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