Welcome to a special edition of The Panther Prospect Updates. We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.
BEGINNING OF SEASON PROSPECT RANKINGS
During the Summer, I published a list of our Top 10 prospects in my opinion. Well I’m making a new list for the preseason. Let’s get started.
Refresher: These were the Top 10 during the summer: WC Linus Hultstrom, #10 Adam Mascherin, #9 Connor Brickley, #8 Juho Lammikko, #7 Sam Montembeault, #6 Dryden Hunt, #5 Henrik Borgstrom, #4 Jayce Hawryluk, #3 Kyle Rau, #2 Ian McCoshen, #1 Mike Matheson
After reviewing that list, I decided to make some adjustments. Prospects eligible for this list must have played in 5 NHL games or less. The previous cutoff was 41 NHL games or less. That was way too big. That means that Connor Brickley, Kyle Rau and Mike Matheson are not eligible for this list.
I have made 4 different lists to determine top prospects. The first list determines our top 10 forward prospects. The second list determines our top 6 defense prospects. The third list determines our Top 3 goaltending prospects. Finally, I will make a Top 10 list of all of our prospects.
LIST #1- Top 10 Forwards
#10 Graham Black Center
#9 Shane Harper Right Wing
#8 Jonathan Ang Center
#7 Paul Thompson Right Wing
#6 Adam Mascherin Left Wing
#5 Juho Lammikko Left Wing
#4 Henrik Borgstrom Center
#3 Dryden Hunt Left Wing
#2 Denis Malgin Center
#1 Jayce Hawryluk Center/Right Wing
LIST #2- Top 6 Defensemen
#6 Mackenzie Weegar Right Shot
#5 Michael Downing Left Shot
#4 Thomas Schemitsch Right Shot
#3 Riley Stillman Left Shot
#2 Linus Hultstrom Right Shot
#1 Ian McCoshen Left Shot
LIST #3- Top 3 Goaltenders
#3 Colin Stevens
#2 Sam Brittan
#1 Sam Montembeault
LIST #4- Top 10 Overall
Note: I have replaced the Wildcard spot with an Honorable Mention.
#HM Jonathan Ang (C)
Acquired: Drafted 94th Overall by Florida in 2016
2016-17 Stats: Peterborough (OHL) 3 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 PTS
Ang is a fast skater. He has great hands. I believe he will end up being a draft steal. He will likely end up transferring to wing if he ends up in the NHL. Ang is the first Malaysian-Canadian draft pick. He had a good preseason game but was sent back to juniors.
Future: I believe he will spend the next two years in juniors. In 2018-19 he should play full time in the AHL. For another couple of years he will spend time rotating between the NHL and the AHL. However he shouldn’t get a fulltime NHL job until 2022-23. When he does make the NHL, he should be a bottom six forward.
NHL Arrival: 2019-20; 2022-23 (Full-Time)
#10 Paul Thompson (RW)
Acquired: Undrafted; Traded to Florida by New Jersey on June 10, 2016
2016-17 Stats: He has not been assigned to a team yet
2015-16 Stats: New Jersey (NHL) 3 GP, 0-0-0 and Albany (AHL) 56 GP, 13-22-35
Thompson has been one of the biggest surprises of the preseason. The Cats are struggling scoring. Thompson has been the only major offensive producer for Florida in the preseason. He is a very-good stickhandler and is good at scoring goals in traffic. He is good at forcing his way into the zone to score garbage goals.
Future: Thompson could make the opening night roster for 2016-17. To make the roster, I think he needs to beat Greg McKegg or Denis Malgin for a spot. However I think he will bounce around between the NHL and AHL until he secures a full time spot a few years down the road. If he does make it to the NHL, I think he will be a bottom 6 forward
NHL Arrival: 2019-20 (Full-Time). He has already played 3 NHL games.
Previous Rank: UR (+2)
#9 Adam Mascherin (LW)
Acquired: 38th overall pick in 2016 by Florida
2016-17 Stats: Kitchener (OHL) 2 GP, 0-3-3
Mascherin is a speedy sniper with a cannon of a shot. When I went to development camp, I left with a terrible headache thanks in large part to him (no offense Adam). He was cut. He is an underrated passer too. I think that if Henrik Borgstrom doesn’t pan out, Mascherin will be our best selection in 2016.
Future: He needs a couple of seasons in juniors. I think in 2018-19 he will be up in the AHL and be there full time. Like Jonathan Ang, he should bounce around for a couple of seasons between the AHL and NHL but I think Mascherin will be here fulltime sooner. He should slide in the top 9.
NHL Arrival: 2018-19; 2020-21 (Full Time)
Previous Top 10 Rank: 10 (+1)
#8 Juho Lammikko (F)
Acquired: 65th overall pick by Florida in 2014
2016-17 Stats: Springfield (AHL): Season has not started yet
2015-16 Stats: Kingston (OHL): 59 GP, 22-33-55
Lammikko is compared to Chicago’s 2011 1st rounder Joel Armia. He just isn’t as strong offensively as Armia. I think he will be Jaromir Jagr’s replacement on the top line. He hasn’t done much professionally but in juniors he has.
Future: I believe he won’t make it to the NHL until 2017-18 and he will just be an injury replacement. He should shift up and down the lineup until he finds a permeant spot in the top 9 in 2019-20.
NHL Arrival: 2017-18; 2019-20 (Full Time)
Previous Top 10 Rank: 8 (E)
#7 Sam Montembeault (G)
Acquired: 77th Overall Pick in 2015 by Florida
2016-17 Stats: Blainville-Boisbrand (QMJHL) 1 GP, 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, 0.960 SVPCT
Montembeault is regarded as the Panthers goalie of the future. His idol is Roberto Luongo. He is a terrific net minder playing on a bad junior team. They only went so far in the playoffs because of him. He is tall, lanky and athletic. He has fluid movement between the pipes but he can be caught napping on some shots directed towards his glove hand.
Future: He will play in juniors this year. After Reto Berra, Mike McKenna and Sam Brittan (possibly) leave in Free Agency, he and Colin Stevens will run the show in Springfield. His time to be called up depends on Roberto Luongo. I believe Lu will retire after 2018-19 and Montembeault will be ushered in to backup James Reimer for a couple of years before he gets the starting job.
NHL Arrival: 2018-19; 2019-20 (Full Time)
Previous Top 10 Rank: 7 (E)
#6 Henrik Borgstrom (C)
Acquired: 23rd overall pick in 2016 by Florida
2016-17 Stats: Denver University- Unknown
Borgstrom was a surprise and controversial pick mainly due to the spot where he was drafted. He was ranked to be a 2nd or 3rd rounder. However he has some of the best stickhandling abilities I have ever seen. He could make Barkov’s shootout moves look like a simple shot from the point. He is a speedy skater as well.
Future: He will probably spend three years at Denver and a year in the AHL. His path should be similar to Mike Matheson’s which was: 3 Years at College – AHL 1 Year/ Couple of NHL Appearances- Fulltime. He is projected to be a second or third line center. If one of our top centers doesn’t want to come back, he should slide right into their spot.
NHL Arrival: 2019-20; 2020-20 (Full-Time)
Previous Top 10 Ranking: 5 (-1)
#5 Linus Hultstrom (D)
Acquired: Free Agent- May 2, 2016
2016-17 Stats: Springfield (AHL)- Season has not begun
2015-16 Stats: Djurgardens (SweHL)- 52 GP, 12-19-31
He was the Erik Karlsson of the Swedish Hockey League and now he is in our prospect system. He is an offensive defenseman. He is good on the powerplay. I expect him up here soon.
Future: AHL this year. Next year, either Petrovic or Pysyk will be gone to expansion and Kampfer to free agency. McCoshen will be the next one up and Hultstrom after him. I think in Florida he probably won’t crack the top 4 but elsewhere he could. I think he will be full time soon.
NHL Arrival: 2017-18
Previous Top 10 Ranking: Wildcard (+6)
#4 Dryden Hunt (LW)
Acquired: Free Agent- March 2, 2016
2016-17 Stats: Springfield (AHL)- Season has not begun
2015-16 Stats: Moose Jaw (WHL) 72 GP, 58-58-116
He went undrafted due to concussion issues, but he exploded in the WHL last year. He won the MVP. The Cats were lucky to get their hands on this gem so late in the season. He is a legit scoring weapon. Now he may have exploded due to the Man vs Kids thing but I think he is for real.
Future: He will play the entire year in Springfield to make sure he is ready for pros and then make the jump next year. He should be a top winger maybe eventually replacing Jussi Jokinen on the 2nd line or even Jagr on the top line.
Previous Rank: 6 (+2)
#3 Denis Malgin (C)
Acquired: 104th Overall Pick by Florida in 2015.
2016-17 Stats: Not on a team yet
2015-16 Stats: Zurich SC 38 GP, 5-12-17
He flew under the radar playing with Auston Matthews, but I think Vincent Trocheck has met his match in the Panthers biggest draft steal. Now that Nick Bjugstad is injured, Malgin’s path is easier than ever. He was the unanimous MVP at development camp. He just has to beat Greg McKegg for a spot. He is an adept skater and a smart player. He doesn’t have the best shot but uses his creativity and skill. That shot thing was from a website but I think that is perfected now.
Future: He will likely be an injury replacement before becoming a versatile NHL forward who can play anywhere in the lineup.
Arrival: 2016-17; 2017-18 (Full Time)
PR: UR (+9)
#2 Jayce Hawryluk (F)
Acquired: 32nd overall pick in 2014 by FLA
2016-17 Stats: Springfield (AHL): Season has not started yet/ injured
2015-16 Stats: Brandon (WHL): 58 GP, 47-59-106
He is a powerful forward with an excellent shot. He is a great all-around forward. He’s Jayce Hawryluk! And yet he is injured. He broke his hand in a fight at rookie camp. He won the fight but had to get hand surgery. His time for return is indefinite. Hawryluk is a great player. He probably would’ve beat fellow Panthers prospect Dryden Hunt for scoring in the WHL if he didn’t spend so much time in the box.
Future: He will be a top 9 forward.
Arrival: 2016-17; 2017-18 (Full-Time)
PR: 4 (+2)
#1 Ian McCoshen (D)
Acquired: 31st overall pick in 2013 by FLA
2016-17 Stats: No team yet
2015-16 Stats: Boston College 40 GP, 5-16-21
He is our best prospect. He was our 2nd rounder in 2013. He is another guy who has penalty trouble. He is the next Erik Gudbranson (with the fights not the hits) with more offensive upside. He has a good shot on the powerplay. He needs to use his size more though.
Future: Its between him and Steven Kampfer. I think Kampfer will win but he will be the next guy up. I think McCoshen will probably end up being a bottom 4 defender.
Arrival: 2016-17; 2017-18 (Fulltime)
PR: 2 (+1)
Guys who missed from last time were #1 D Mike Matheson (8 NHL Games); #3 Kyle Rau (9 NHL Games) and #9 Connor Brickley (23 NHL Games). This list will be updated again in January.
This Week’s Prospect MVP: Adam “Passerin”
Adam Mascherin is typically known for his heavy shot. However he hasn’t scored a goal in his first 2 games in the OHL. Instead he has 3 assists.
Who was the Panthers best draft steal?
Vincent Trocheck was. He was the 63rd pick in 2011 and he scored 25 goals and 53 points in 76 games last year. However someone might start challenging him. Denis Malgin was a fourth round pick in 2015. Malgin could take that honor away from Trocheck if Malgin makes the team and performs well. Not to mention Jonathan Ang is good too. This will be interesting to see.