Former 1st round pick Jeff Heerema joins Panthers

Carolina Hurracaines 1st round draft pick from 1998 has joined the Nottingham Panthers as Jeff Heerema was today announced as the replacement for recently departed Dustin Sproat. Although he only iced 32 times in the NHL for Carolina and St Louis Blues, Heerema has a great pedigree in the AHL, scoring nearly a point a game and is also the cousin of the NHL’s Staal brothers Eric, Marc, Jordan and Jared.
Heerema has been without a club since being released by Croatian team KHL Medveščak Zagreb in the summer. Previous to that He iced two seasons for Frankfurt Lions in the DEL. With the greatest of respect to Sproat Panthers have certainly upgraded and thanks to the Dutch stamp in his passport, Heerema is expected to be in Nottingham for the weekend games against Coventry and Hull.
No doubt Panthers will be criticised for carrying an extra import but we attract the crowds and make a profit so why shouldn’t the management plough that back into the club to put quality players on the ice? It also gives coach Corey Neilson several options and he can now put out a team to suit each game and also has the advantage of resting injured imports having the extra cover, just as long as we don’t have a Nick Toneys situation once again!
Neilson said of his latest capture “A guy with Jeff’s resume would be an asset to any team in our league, patience is a virtue and we have been looking for the right kind of player to add to the roster for a few weeks. We already had a full quota of imports so there was no need to panic buy and we’ve added a player who we’re sure will be a fans’ favourite. He has great numbers in some of the top leagues, he played in the NHL just a few years ago and he will be a scoring threat. Teams have been paying attention to our snipers in recent games, now they have someone else to worry about as well.”
I’m sure Heerema will be a quality addition to a squad which is well in the hunt for silverware. Let’s hope he can help to lead us to the promised land.


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