Although the Florida Panthers drafted cornerstone players Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad in 2013 and 2014, the organization built its foundation primarily in the 2011 NHL Draft, Dale Tallon’s second as general manager.
The 2015-16 version of the Panthers, which qualified for the playoffs and had its best regular season in franchise history, featured two players from the 2011 NHL Draft – Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck – playing vital roles for the team. Logan Shaw, Kyle Rau and Rocco Grimaldi all played varying roles for the team as well. The Panthers drafted 23 players in the 2010 and 2011 drafts, 15 of which have played in the NHL. Read more»
The Florida Panthers AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, finished the 2014-15 season with a 45-23-7-1 record, which was good enough for first place in the West Division. However, they were swept in the first round of the playoffs. It was a team that relied heavily on veterans like Bobby Butler, Mark Mancari, Shane O’Brien and Brett Olson, while prospects Connor Brickley and Rocco Grimaldi made swift progression throughout the season. Read more»
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»
Outside of a few new draftees and signings, there’s little change amongst the top 20 prospects for the Florida Panthers. First round pick Lawson Crouse is a notable and unexpected addition, while Vincent Trocheck officially graduated from his prospect status last season, having now played in 70 career games. Read more»
The Florida Panthers have made the playoffs just twice in the last 16 years. In an effort to make the postseason this year, the Panthers added veterans Dany Heatley and Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline. But if the Panthers are going to become a playoff contender on an annual basis, it is the youngsters coming up through their system that need to make a difference in the coming years. Read more»