Top 10 Panthers Prospects #1: Mike Matheson

Acquired: 23rd Overall Pick in 2012

2015-16 Stats: Portland (AHL) 54 GP, 8-12-20 and Florida (NHL) 3 GP, 0-0-0

Matheson is our #1 Prospect and its not even close. He started off Game 1 in the Playoffs as the healthy scratch and at the end of our series he was playing on the top pair with Aaron Ekblad. I think Matheson will be Ekblad’s defensive partner and they had some great chemistry. Matheson was our 1st round and best selection in 2012 the year we won the extremely weak Southeastern Division. He played an important role in the playoffs and if he can do great in the postseason then he will do a great job in the regular season. Bleacher Report even ranked him as the #5 candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Road to the NHL: Matheson spent a few years at Boston College before going to play for Portland in the AHL full time. He came up in the defensive tryout replacing Regner for a couple of games in February and was called up again at the end of the season. Matheson’s long journey through the system has ended and he is going to be a full time NHL player. When we got rid of Gudbranson, Kulikov and Campbell it was because of us being comfortable with Matheson for a full time role.

Projected NHL Arrival: 2016-17

NHL Future: Matheson played Top 2 minutes in the playoffs last year so he will likely spend the rest of his career in the Top 4. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Probability of Success: I saw enough of Matheson to give him an A but not enough for an A+