It's a historical day for Port Moody's long-time junior 'B' hockey franchise.
Today (July 24), the Panthers witnessed its first player — current or former — ever selected to the NHL in the same year they suited up in the red, white and black after Carson Latimer was taken by the Ottawa Senators in the 2021 entry draft.
The 18-year-old forward was picked 123rd overall in the fourth round of the two-day virtual event.
"The thought that a player who donned a Panthers jersey during his NHL draft-eligible season could be selected is unreal," Panthers' general manager Brian Wiebe told the Tri-City News in an earlier interview.
For Latimer, he also becomes the first Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) regularly-rostered player to be drafted to the NHL in the same year.
“Lots of guys didn’t have that option to play some games before the WHL [Western Hockey League] season started,” he said in a release on the Edmonton Oil Kings website.
He played eight games in Port Moody, registering 12 points in that span before the PJHL's ultimate 2020-21 cancellation and was eventually called up by Edmonton to compete in its Central Division hub campaign.
“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.”
Latimer went on to tally 16 points in 22 games and earned the title as Central Division rookie of the year for his efforts.
Prior to today's draft, he was ranked 149th among North American skaters going into this weekend's draft.
On Friday (July 23), Port Moody born-and-raised product Kent Johnson was taken fifth overall in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.