Defensemen Matt Duffy arrived in mid March as another college kid making an appearance in the AHL once his season was over at the Univeristy of Maine, no one really knew who he was or what to expect but once he finished the season with the Rochester Americans he had shown a lot of promise that has everyone interested in next season. Before he returns though he’ll have to be offered an entry level contract by the Florida Panthers. The fourth round draft choice of the Florida Panthers in 2005 (104th overall) should have nothing to worry about.
Duffy made an impact with the Amerks getting two assists in his first professional game followed by his first goal in his second game. He finished out the season playing in nine games and finishing with two goals and four assists.
The coaches were impressed with his play as well considering he had a lot of ice time on the power play. Jason Cipolla commented that Duffy has great “hockey sense” which allowed him to adapt quickly.
Duffy is currently with the Florida Everblades in their quest for the Kelly Cup in the ECHL.
Holly Gunning recently caught up with Duffy for a Q&A over at Hockeysfuture.com, here’s two excerpts that relate most to Rochester:
HF: You’re looking for a contract with the Panthers, have you had any preliminary talks with them?
MD: Not really. After the season was done with Maine, they gave me the opportunity to go to Rochester. They didn’t really say much to me. I just wanted to go there and show them I could play at this level and do whatever it takes to get there and get a contract.
HF: Next year is your main goal to stick in Rochester?
MD: Yes, my main goal is to play in the AHL and I’ll do whatever it takes. Whatever Florida wants me to do, I’ll do. It’s been my dream my whole life, so I’ll be working especially hard to get to that level.
Assuming the Panthers offer Duffy an entry level contract it’ll probably happen in early May, or shortly after the Florida Everblades win the Kelly Cup.