Nine-year-old ice hockey player Jack Cohen couldn’t have been more thrilled.
With his Miami Toros teammates, Cohen got a personal lesson on puck-handling from David Booth, star of the NHL Florida Panthers hockey team, on June 25 at the Kendall Ice Arena in the Hammocks, home rink for the junior league team.
It all came about because of Cohen’s inspiring words that led to his selection as the first winner of the Degree “Cool and Confident Kid” Award.
“I have great hockey sense,” he declared. “I can’t hear from my left ear, so I can’t hear where a player is coming from. But I seem to know where the puck is.
“My mom calls this my sixth sense, but I just call it playing hockey,” said the mopheaded forward, son of Jim and Dana Cohen of Sabal Chase. Jack will enter the fourth grade at Leewood K-8 Center in August.
Booth, popular Panthers forward, worked out with the Toros for over an hour at the Kendall Ice Arena rink before adjourning for a pizza party to celebrate Jack’s selection as winner of an inaugural Degree Cool and Confident Award.
That special designation for Jack led to the team’s clinic and a $500 gift from Degree Deodorant and USA Hockey for equipment and supplies for the Toros. Local league play continues in addition to freestyle skating at The Hammocks twin regulation-sized rinks.
Booth will direct a second VIP skills clinic Aug. 1-5 at a Coral Springs rink, offseason home for the Broward-based NHL team.
About the Panthers’ newest acquisition of Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Brian Campbell, Booth said, “He’ll be a great addition. “We need that kind of veteran playmaking ability on the power play.”
And young Cohen’s dream: “Sure, I’d love to play for the Panthers.”