Former Panthers forward Latimer makes history at the NHL Draft

Former Port Moody Panthers forward Carson Latimer made history on Saturday after being selected in the fourth round, 123rd overall, by the Ottawa Senators at the 2021 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Latimer, 18, is the first player ever chosen in the NHL Draft during the same season he played in the Pacific Junior Hockey League as a regular rostered player. The Surrey, BC product is also the first player selected in the draft in the same season he played for the Panthers.

His draft stock did nothing but rise throughout the season and skyrocketed when he joined the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings in February. Latimer finished the year ranked 149th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and was also ranked #174th overall by McKeen’s Hockey.

The 2003-born right wing led all PJHL rookies players in scoring this past season with 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in eight games. After going without a point in his first game with the Panthers, he ended the season on a seven-game point streak. ranking sixth overall in league scoring and fifth in overall assists. Latimer looks on his experience with the Panthers as a positive one.

“Lots of guys didn’t have that option to play some games before the WHL season started,” added Latimer in an article on the Oil Kings website. “For me it was an opportunity to get back into game shape after being out of games for as long as we were. Playing against older guys and bigger guys was good for me, it was good competition and it helped me prepare for the WHL year.”

Once he joined the Oil Kings, Latimer put up 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 22 games to finish first in Central Division rookie scoring and eighth overall in rookie scoring in the league. His efforts earned him the Central Division rookie of the year award.