In this post, I will take a look back at the 2013 NHL Draft Class for the Panthers.
2nd Overall Pick- Aleksander Barkov, C
With the second overall pick in 2013, the Panthers had an opportunity to take Defenseman Seth Jones. They passed on him for the quiet Finn Sasha Barkov. It turned out to be a good deal as Barkov has emerged as one of the best two-way centers in the game. The top line center has formed a lot of chemistry with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr. He is the cornerstone center of this franchise for the future and he is in my opinion, the most underrated player in the NHL; although center Vicnent Trocheck also has an argument for that.
NHL Career Stats: 252 GP; 73 G; 98 A; 171 PTS; 44 PIM
31st Overall Pick: Ian McCoshen (D)
In the second round, the Panthers looked for a future bottom pairing defenseman and nabbed Ian McCoshen. McCoshen is a physical player; like Erik Gudbranson but he has more offensive upside. He impressed in 3 games this year. The Boston College grad will compete with teammate Mackenzie Weegar for a spot next year.
NHL Career Stats: 3 GP; 0 G; 1 A; 1 PTS
92nd Overall Pick: Evan Cowley (G)
In the fourth round, the Panthers looked for some goaltending help. Cowley was picked by the Panthers. He was the backup to Tanner Jalliet in Denver this year as Jalliet and fellow Panther prospect Henrik Borgstrom helped lead Denver to a championship. The Panthers have until August 15th to sign Cowley, however with Sam Montembeault; Hugo Fagerblom; Sam Brittan and Adam Wilcox already in the system, Cowley might be the odd man out.
NHL Career Stats: No Career NHL Games
97th Overall Pick: Michael Downing (D)
The Panthers grabbed Downing, who was impressive with Michigan. He played in the AHL this past year. He had 13 points. Downing faces a lot of competition on his road to the bigs but he might make it.
98th Overall Pick: Matt Buckles (C)
After Cornell, the Panthers sent Buckles to the AHL where he impressed. It will be interesting to see if Buckles can become one of those late round big surprises, however with many prospects ahead of him, Buckles is unlikely to be sucessful in Florida.
122nd Pick: Christopher Clapperton (F)
The most I know about Christopher Clapperton is him being a pain in the butt in my roster plans for the Panthers in NHL 15. After a successful QMJHL career, the Panthers didn’t sign him so Clapperton went to some minor leagues. He has been off the radar and is a bust. Odds are he will never play with the Panthers much less the NHL.
152nd Pick: Joshua Brown (D)
Like fellow prospect Thomas Shmentichsh, Brown has snuck his way into the Panthers future defenders conversations. Brown is a tough customer who might make it up in case we ever play a tough team. I think that he is a member of the dying enforcer breed.
206th Pick: Mackenzie Weegar (D)
A big surprise, Weegar was the second Panthers 2013 pick to lace up his skates in the bigs. The 1st was 2nd overall pick Sasha Barkov. Weegar has worked hard to get where he is. The AHL all star is an offensive defenseman who flew under the radar for his small size. However the 5 foot 11 inch defender has some great skills and I still can’t figure out how he almost went undrafted in 2013.
NHL Career Stats: 3 GP; 0 G; 0 A; 0 PTS