Photo: Goaltender Jacob Markstrom is one of the top goaltending prospects currently playing North American hockey. Markstrom was selected by the Florida Panthers 31st overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Florida Panthers went into the 2008 NHL draft without a first-round pick, having traded away the rights to that pick in a package that brought Tomas Vokoun to Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers (under then general manager Jacques Martin) made a sequence of trades that gave them the 31st, 46th, and 80th overall picks, as well as their own fourth (100th overall) and seventh round picks (190th).
Photo: Forward Drew Shore is one of several Florida Panthers prospects playing in their first season of professional hockey. (Courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)
The Florida Panthers prospect pool has seen significant turnover at the minor league level over the last six months. Some players have graduated to the NHL while others have been traded. Several new faces have joined the professional ranks for the first time. After all of the movement is accounted for, what remains is perhaps the strongest minor league group of prospects the Panthers have had in a long time, if ever.
Photo: Goaltender Jacob Markstrom, shown here playing for the parent Florida Panthers, has been hot of late while leading the surging San Antonio Rampage of the AHL (courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that San Antonio Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 9, 2012.
Photo: Now a rookie with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, forward Drew Shore experienced little difficulty transitioning to professional hockey. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)
Not only has Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon turned a perennially underachieving NHL club into a playoff contender in just over two years, but he built an enviable stable of prospects, many of whom are close to NHL ready.
Photo: Chris Kreider's mix of blazing speed, a formidable frame, and outstanding hockey sense rank him among the top forward prospects in the NHL. (courtesy of Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
Winger Chris Kreider, already coming off a NCAA National Championship with Boston College, put on a show in 18 playoff games for the New York Rangers. The lockout will keep him from making an immediate impact for the Rangers in 2012-13, but like defensemen Brendan Smith and Brandon Gormley behind him, Kreider should benefit from significant ice time in the AHL rather than the pressure of making an immediate impact in the NHL.