Prospect Update: Patrick Bajkov looking like a steal & Rankings

Late in the 2017-18 campaign, Dale Tallon was impressed with a forward from the WHL. Patrick Bajkov had an underwhelming 2015-16 campaign in juniors which hurt his draft stock and ultimately he wasn’t drafted. He wasn’t picked in 2017 either. However the Panthers signed Bajkov late in the 2017-18 season. He is looking like a steal so far. Why? Bajkov has put up more than a point per game in his past couple seasons and he isn’t undersized either. He may need to put on a few pounds at 183 pounds but he is 6 feet tall. This ultimately leads me to wonder. How did this guy slip through the cracks? Dryden Hunt going undrafted made sense due to health concerns. Hunt put up a solid year in the AHL and he could compete for an NHL spot despite being overshadowed by top prospects Henrik Borgstrom and Owen Tippett. Bajkov has been healthy throughout his young career. A couple of nights ago with his Everett Silvertips in the 3rd round of the WHL playoffs, Bajkov scored a hat trick. If the Silvertips advance they could face another Panthers top prospect Aleski Heponiemi and the Swift Current Broncos. However the Broncos have to top the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Both series favor the Panther prospects with Bajkov and Heponiemi’s teams leading their respective series 2-1. While the success isn’t assuredly going to transfer over to the NHL, Bajkov’s future is looking bright.

April 25th, 2018 Prospect Rankings

1- Henrik Borgstrom (C)
Rank Change: Even
Stats: Denver (NCAA) 40 GP 23-29-52 & Florida (NHL) 4 GP 1-0-1
Potential: 1st Line Forward
Projected Arrival: 2018-19

2- Owen Tippett (RW)
Rank Change: +1
Stats: Mississauga (OHL) 51 GP 36-39-75 & Springfield (AHL) 5 GP 1-1-2 &
Florida (NHL) 7 GP 1-0-1
Potential: Top 6 Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2018-19

3- Aleski Heponiemi (C)
Rank Change: -1
Stats: Swift Current (WHL) 57 GP 28-90-118
Potential: Top 9 Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

4- Adam Mascherin (LW)
Rank Change: Even
Stats: Kitchener (OHL) 67 GP 40-46-86
Potential: Top 9 Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20
Note: Mascherin has said that he will not sign with the Panthers before the June 1st deadline.

5-Patrick Bajkov (W)
Rank Change: NEW
Stats: Everett (WHL) 72 GP 33-67-100
Potential: 3rd Line Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

6-Dryden Hunt (W)
Rank Change: NEW
Stats: Springfield (AHL) 58 GP 23-23-46 & Florida (NHL) 11 GP 0-1-1
Potential: 3rd Line Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

7- Jonathan Ang (C)
Rank Change: -1
Stats: Peterborough (OHL) 39 GP 15-28-43 & Sarnia (OHL) 26 GP 10-17-27
Potential: 3rd Line Forward
Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

8- Samuel Montembeault (G)
Rank Change: -3
Stats: Springfield (AHL) 41 GP 3.25 GAA .896 SVPCT
Potential: Starting Goalie
Projected Arrival: 2019-20

9- Max Gildon (D)
Rank Change: -1
Stats: University of New Hampshire (NCAA) 36 GP 8-15-23
Potential: 3rd Pairing Defenseman
Projected Arrival: 2021-22

10- Anthony Greco (F)
Rank Change: -1
Stats: Springfield (AHL) 75 GP 29-19-48
Potential: Bottom 6 Forward
Projected Arrival: 2018-19

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