Florida Panthers – Offseason Prospect System Review

Jokke Nevalainen

2018-08-13

Florida Panthers

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Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.

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Offseason Moves

 

Draft results and offseason moves have been covered in the July article. In case you’ve missed it, here’s a link: Florida Panthers 2018 Draft Review and Development Camp Updates.

 

The biggest additions were obviously Mike Hoffman at forward and Bogdan Kiselevich on defense. One signing that was forgotten from that article was Michael Hutchinson who was given a one-year contract for 1.3 million to serve as the team’s number three goalie. The Panthers wanted someone with NHL experience for that role because of Luongo’s injury history. Last season, they had the unproven Harri Säteri playing that role but Säteri moved on to Detroit.

 

Graduating Players

 

Patrick Bajkov, Jonathan Ang and Riley Stillman are graduating from the CHL and will move on to the AHL. All three had a good season in junior hockey, and they’re good enough that they should have success in the AHL without needing time in the ECHL.

 

The Panthers have a lot of young forwards either already playing in the NHL or very close to it, so it will be a real battle in training camp and preseason – no one is getting their spot handed to them if they don’t show the organization that they deserve it. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Evgeni Dadonov, Mike Hoffman and Nick Bjugstad will have top-nine roles for sure but that still leaves three spots up for grabs. The Panthers could stack up their top-six with those six players but they’ll likely spread out the offense across three scoring lines.

 

Denis Malgin has spent most of the past two seasons in the NHL, and he should be able to solidify his spot in the lineup permanently now. A true offensive breakout may still be a year away but it’s coming. Malgin was drafted as a center but has spent most of his time in the NHL playing wing.

 

Henrik Borgström finished his NCAA career on a high note and made his NHL debut quickly after that. Borgström should start the season in the NHL but it remains to be seen if he plays center or wing. Because the Panthers have Barkov and Trocheck at center, Borgström may have better opportunities if he plays wing. But he’s always been more effective at center, so it’s an interesting situation to follow. If he’s given a proper role and he finds chemistry, he could challenge for the Rookie of the Year award.

 

Owen Tippett still has one more year of junior eligibility remaining but the Panthers have said he’ll have every opportunity to earn a spot on the NHL roster. Tippett played a few games