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.
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.
The Florida Panthers prospect system continues to be heavily weighted towards the NCAA and minor professional leagues, with a lot of talent concentrated at those levels. However, the talent pool as a whole is still substantial despite recent graduations, and should continue to provide the Panthers with a steady stream of high-quality prospects for the next few years.
The Florida Panthers system has just six prospects playing in junior leagues, though four did recently represent the team at the 2013 Subway Super Series. The group runs the gamut from big stay-at-home defensemen to feisty two-way scrappers, to small goal scorers. The eclectic bunch may not have any budding superstars among them, but they do have the Dale Tallon trademark traits of solid work ethic and hockey smarts.
The Florida Panthers' system remains well stocked even after the graduation of Jonathan Huberdeau and Jacob Markstrom. The organization has incredible depth and skill at center and defense, and although the goaltending depth chart looks relatively weak, it remains a solid group with a couple of players performing well in the early part of the current season.