We are so close to Opening Night and this is the final Panther Prowler of the 2016 offseason. I will be at opening night cheering on the cats at the BB&T Center.
Huberdeau injured long term
Well the injury bug is back and worse than ever. Nick Bjugstad (arm) is out for 3-4 weeks and Jonathan Huberdeau suffered a bad injury near the Achilles’ tendon and will be out for 3-4 months. He was injured in a freak accident in which he got tied up with another’s player and the other player’s skate cut near his ankle and close to the Achilles’ tendon. This gives the star of the West Point game Jonathan Marchessault a chance to shine on the top line.
Malgin, Harper, McKegg make the team
A few surpriseswere on the opening night roster. Denis Malgin was expected. The 19 year old Swiss Center was a 4th round selection last year and one of the most underrated players in the draft. Malgin was the MVP of rookie camp averaging 2 goals per game at rookie camp and shined throughout preseason. He will fill in for Nick Bjugstad. Shane Harper was a surprise. He was almost called up last year. My friends at Cats on The Prowl said they expect him to make the team this year. He will play Right Wing on the 4th line. Harper went undrafted and was one of Portland’s top scorers last year. Greg McKegg was up last year for 15 games.
Projected Lines on Opening Night
MacKenzie is Captain
Derek MacKenzie is the newest captain of the Panthers. He was a wise choice. He will hold the spot for a couple of years until Aaron Ekblad gets it and will hopefully wear it for 15 years or more. Jokinen and Ekblad are the Alternate captains.
This is this year’s Numerical roster. I will create a page for it when I get a chance.
#1 Goalie. Roberto Luongo
#3. Defense. Keith Yandle
#5. Defense. Aaron Ekblad (A)
#6. Defense. Alex Petrovic
#7. Forward. Colton Sceviour
#11. Left Wing. Jonathan Huberdeau (Injured Reserve)
#13. Defense. Mark Pysyk
#16. Center. Aleksander Barkov
#17. Center. Derek MacKenzie (C)
#18. Right Wing. Reilly Smith
#19. Defense. Michael Matheson
#21. Center. Vincent Trocheck
#22. Winger. Shawn Thornton
#27. Center. Nick Bjugstad (IR)
#34. Goalie. James Reimer
#36. Left Wing. Jussi Jokinen (A)
#38. Right Wing. Shane Harper
#41. Forward. Greg McKegg
#55. Defense. Jason Demers
#62. Center. Denis Malgin
#68. Right Wing. Jaromir Jagr
#77. Defense. Steven Kampfer
#81 Winger. Jonathan Marchessault
#90. Center. Jared McCann
Panthers Weekly Preview
10/13 vs. New Jersey. 7:30pm- Taylor Hall and Cory Schneider lead a Devils squad into the BB&T Center. The Devils patched up their weak offense with the acquisition of Hall.
Key to the Game: After giving up Adam Larsson, all New Jersey has on defense is Andy Greene. Take advantage of the weakness Defense and pepper Cory Schneider with shots.
10/15 vs. Detroit. 7pm- The Pavel Datsyuk era is over as Dylan Larkin comes in as his successor. Larkin, one of the fastest skaters to ever set a skate on the ice in the NHL leads the Red Wings.
Key to the Game: Use speed to beat Larkin as everyone else in Detroit is slow.
Minor League Trades
The Panthers made two minor league trades. Defenseman Jonathan Racine was sent to Montreal in exchange for Forward Tim Bozon. Forward Connor Brickley was sent to Carolina for Center Brady Sutter.
Final Season Prediction
100 Points, 2nd in Atlantic
Lose to Tampa Bay, 2nd Round (3-4)
Goals Leader: Trocheck (31)
Points Leader: Barkov and Trocheck (70)