Ferlin/By S. Bradley

WILMINGTON, Mass. — Of course Florida native Brian Ferlin gets a little ribbing from his hockey-hotbed-based  teammates at the Bruins’ fifth annual development camp.

He doesn’t let it bother him, though.

“At the same time, I get to go home to the beach every day whenever I’m done working out. So I don’t take it too hard,” he admitted today after he scored a goal in the black team’s 3-1 win over the white team in a scrimmage at Ristuccia Arena.

Ferlin not only found the back of the net, he also threw some solid hits over the course of the contest, which was the first of the weekend after a few days of practices and power-skating drills.

Just drafted a couple weeks ago in the fifth round by the Bruins, the 19-year-old Ferlin is soaking in all the excitement of his first camp.

“It’s been awesome,” said Ferlin, the first Jacksonville native to ever get drafted. “I didn’t really know a whole lot of what to expect. It’s been difficult between the on-ice and off-ice stuff. It’s been good getting to meet everyone. And just getting out there today to showcase a little of what you can do, play against everyone. Obviously I’m playing with some good players, so you get some pretty good chemistry right away.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Ferlin chose ice hockey, despite living in the Sun Belt, at a young age over baseball, football and lacrosse. His father, a Chicago native, had experience with the sport. After two years of junior hockey with Indiana of the USHL (he put up an amazing 73 points in 55 games last season), Ferlin is now headed to Cornell. There he’s going to be in the business school in addition to skating for the Big Red.

The Bruins are looking forward to Ferlin gaining more experience on his skates to put his skills to use better.

“Well, I think there’s a lot of room for growth on Brian,” said assistant general manager Don Sweeney. “He’s got tremendous upside athletically. I think he’ll continue to get more and more comfortable on the ice as he plays more and more hockey. It’s like taking the one thing until they converge, so to speak. I think that as he plays more, that athleticism will start to show up. He’s got good speed, he’s got good size, he’s got good skills, he’ll understand now in terms of how to utilize those even better as he plays with better players and moves forward. We’re excited. I think he’s a nice project and a nice piece to have to continue to go to work with and then see where he takes it.”

His skills helped him emerge from a non-traditional hockey market to star on bigger stages. So there’s no reason to think Ferlin won’t continue to put Florida hockey on the map as his career moves along.