Photo: After a sparkling 2014-15 season, Samuel Montembeault is a good bet to join the Canadian team at the World Junior Championships this winter. (Courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
The Florida Panthers have been fortunate—or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it—enough to draft high in the recent NHL drafts. Players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov have quickly made the leap to the NHL, leaving the organization with few high-profile prospects, outside of recent first-round pick Lawson Crouse, who was returned to junior. Yet, the Panthers have strong organizational depth, particularly at left wing and defense. Most wingers are capable of playing both wings, but the fact that the Panthers have just three primary right wing prospects is a bit concerning. Read more»
Photo: Finnish forward Juho Lammikko is in his first season of North American hockey, playing for the Kingston Frontenacs. Lammikko was picked in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Under general manager Dale Tallon, the Florida Panthers have been among the foremost practitioners of drafting college-bound players and thereby gaining an extra two years of development before having to make decisions on their futures. As such, the number of Florida’s prospects playing junior hockey is relatively limited. In fact, the team currently has only four players in the Canadian major junior leagues, and two more playing in the USHL before they too go off to college.
Photo: Forward Rocco Grimaldi is amidst his rookie season of professional hockey. Grimaldi was a second round pick from the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
The Florida Panthers organization looks much different now than it did even two years ago. General Manager Dale Tallon’s rebuilding of the prospect system and the relative patience that his staff has shown in allowing those prospects to mature has started to bear fruit. Several players have moved through the pipeline to become NHL regulars or AHL players on the verge of graduating to the big leagues.
Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was the top selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. Ekblad is the second defenseman in Panthers franchise history to be drafted first overall, the other being Ed Jovanovski in 1994. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been steadily building a team geared for long-term NHL success by building through the NHL Draft, making key trades and signing stop-gap free agents to meet salary needs.
Photo: U.S. NTDP forward and 2014 prospect Sonny Milano was an offensive force for that program this season as he totaled 86 points in 58 games (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
Another year has come and gone for the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) that has once again seen its work culminate in another gold medal at the U18 World Championship, this time around in Lappeenranta, Finland.