September 32-in-32: Florida Panthers

Ben Gehrels

2022-09-14

courtesy: news.sportslogos.net

Welcome to the September 2022 edition of the DobberProspects 32-in-32 Series. This month, we are diving into the depth of each organization, looking at their recent graduates, risers, fallers and top-20 prospects. 

Despite going into the year with a deep roster at all three positions, the Florida Panthers had several rookies play key roles in 2021-22. At the top of the lineup, recent first round picks Anton Lundell (12th overall, 2021) and Spencer Knight (13th overall, 2019) both had a significant impact on Florida’s President’s Trophy-winning season.

Lundell, who was only 19 years old at the start of last year, impressively stepped straight out of the draft to anchor an incredible third line alongside Mason Marchment (now with Dallas) and Sam Reinhart. The trio effectively drove play (61% Corsi For) and scored 26 goals while only allowing 7 against. Lundell finished fourth league-wide in rookie scoring with an impressive 44 points in 65 games. He is on track to become an elite two-way forward in the mould of team captain, Alexander Barkov.

Spencer Knight, the team’s 21-year-old golden boy in net, played a few games with the Panthers’ AHL affiliate last year but stuck with Florida for most of the campaign. He saw action in 32 games and came away with 19 wins while posting decent ratios, a positive Goals Saved Against Average, and a Quality Start percentage of nearly 60—excellent stats for a young tender. He will continue to back up a rejuvenated Sergei Bobrovsky to provide Florida with one of the best goaltending tandems in the league.

Further down the lineup, Eetu Luostarainen (24) and Ryan Lomberg (27) also stuck with the big club for their first full NHL campaigns, providing much-needed depth for the Cats in the form of energy and physicality. On the back end, Lucas Carlsson (25) finally made the jump after playing parts of five seasons in the AHL. He paired up mostly with Brandon Montour, providing a steady presence to help anchor his partner’s offensive inclinations.

After the season ended, Florida and new Head Coach Paul Maurice held a five-day Development Camp in July that was attended by 36 prospects. All seven of the Panthers’ 2022 picks, profiled in the August update, were in attendance, as well as top prospects at forward (Justin Sourdif, Mackie Samosk