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Latimer relishes experience at Senators development camp

Forward Carson Latimer, who played for the Panthers during the 2020-21 season before joining the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings, is experiencing his first pro camp this week with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.

The Sens drafted the Surrey, BC product in the fourth round, 123rd overall in July’s NHL Draft. In fact, Ottawa made a trade to move up 13 spots to add Latimer to its prospect pool.

In doing so, Latimer became the first player to ever play in the Pacific Junior Hockey League and be selected in the NHL Draft during the same season. Now he’s in camp in Ottawa with some of the Senators’ other top prospects.

“(Being drafted) meant everything,” said Latimer in an article posted on the Senators website on Sept. 14. “It’s what you work for your whole life and to have that finally come true was amazing and there’s no better place to go than somewhere in Canada and to a great place like Ottawa where there’s such a historic background. I’ve loved everything about it so far.”

“It means a lot when they really want you, to trade up to get you … now I want to do my best to show them that I was worth it.”

The 2003-born right wing led all PJHL rookies 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, finishing tied for fourth in league scoring and first in assists.

Once he joined the Oil Kings, Latimer put up five goals and 16 points in 22 games to finish first in WHL 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.

As it relates to being in camp with the Senators, Latimer looks to use the experience as a springboard to a solid 2021-22 campaign with Edmonton for his first full season of junior hockey.

“My goal is to take as much away from this as I can,” Latimer told Senators writer and social media manager Matt Tidcombe. “There’s a lot of very talented hockey players here. There’s lots to learn from the coaching staff. I want to take in as much as I can, have fun while doing so, and become a better hockey player from this.”

Photo credit: Matt Lidcombe / Ottawa Senators