Florida makes roster cuts, announces 51-man training camp roster

The Florida Panthers’ rookies arrived back in Florida late last night after winning the prospects tournament held at the Ford Ice Center in Nashville over the weekend. For some of these individuals, the end of prospects camp means the beginning of NHL training camp, or pre-season. For others, it means the end of their pro careers with the Panthers.

While several individuals impressed at the annual rookie tournament, not every player was fortunate enough to earn a spot at main camp. The following players have been cut from the Panthers, and will not attend training camp:

Player Cuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following names will be attending training camp:

Training Camp Roster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team will hold their first on-ice practice of training camp on September 19th, starting at 10 a.m. at the Panthers Ice Den in Coral Springs, FL. You can find the full training camp schedule here. We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!

 

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

 

Advertisements

Panthers Rookies Defeat the Bolts, Win Prospects Tournament

The Florida Panthers rookies travelled to Nashville this past week, where they took part in the annual rookie tournament against the youngsters of the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Boston Bruins. After playing each team once, the Panthers came away as the prospect tournament champions, winning all three games.

Below, I compiled and posted every goal, assist, and penalty minute scored or taken by the Panthers. (Note: Several stat changes occurred. Thank you to the @ThePredatorial for supplying a few of these statistics.)

dfadhdh

The second place winner will be decided this afternoon when the Predators take on the Bruins at 2pm EST.

Vincent Trocheck: Biding his time

Reading about the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Ufa, Russia, you’ll see that the tournament was dominated by the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM; 4G-11A-15P.), Markus Granlund (CGY; 5G-7A-12P), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY; 7G-2A-9P), and Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA; 3G-6A-9P), all of whom played between six and seven games.

You’ll see that Anaheim’s John Gibson, he of the now-famous Darryl Sutter-ism that had at least a few people thinking, “was he serious?”, completely dominated the tournament, posting a remarkable .955 save percentage, a full 0.5% more than the next goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning super-prospect Andrey Vasilevski. And you’ll even see the leadership on the gold medal winning team, led by future first rounder’s Seth Jones (NSH), Jacob Trouba (WPG), Connor Murphy (ARZ), and J.T. Miller (NYR).

What you won’t see–unless you look particularly close–is one Vincent Trocheck. Despite not garnering the clout that his peers did in the tournament, Trocheck put up a more-than respectable six points (3G-3A-6P) in seven games, including an empty net goal and an assist in the gold medal game. While Trocheck lacked the size and accolades of his peers, it was readily apparent–a year-and-a-half later–that Trocheck used the experience in Ufa as a launching pad for his career.

After the Pittsburgh, PA native returned from Russia, he was traded from the Saginaw Spirit to the Plymouth Whalers, where he went on to score 26 goals to go along with 33 assists in 28 games. He finished the season by leading the OHL in points with 109 total (50G-59A-109P).

As Trocheck did with the World Juniors, he used the culmination of his amateur career as a stepping stone into the pros. Slated to play the season in San Antonio with the Rampage, Trocheck did nothing but impress, leading the team with 42 points (12G-26A) in 55 games. What sets Trocheck apart from his peers is his instincts: he uses tremendous hockey IQ and vision to hit the open man, while his agility makes up for his lack of top-end speed, allowing him to set-up in the right place at the right time.

What really made Trocheck’s first season as a professional stand out was the way that he played following the trade of Marcel Goc. Eliminated from playoff contention, the Panthers brought Trocheck up from the minors. In his 20 game audition, Trocheck shined, scoring five goals to go with his three assists, while leading the Panther forwards with 18:53 of ice time per game.

Heading into his second professional season, Trocheck puts the Panthers in an intriguing situation. Combining his roster friendly two-way contract leaving him waiver ineligible, the signing of veteran centers Dave Bolland and Derek MacKenzie, and the NHL experience of Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, and Drew Shore, Trocheck looks likely to bounce back and forth between San Antonio and Sunrise.

Moving forward, Trocheck’s versatility will be key; while conventional scouting wisdom might declare Trocheck NHL ready, the logjam at center remains apparent. Being able to play on the wing, and in different roles–whether that be on an energy line, on special teams, or just five-on-five–aren’t so much bonuses anymore, but rather necessities needed to crack an NHL roster.

Coming off his fourth development camp, Trocheck established himself as the clear-cut leader amongst those in attendance, something management was clearly looking for out of the 21-year-old. Since before he was drafted 64th overall in 2011, Trocheck was championed for having IT, a sports terminology that, in essence, means he’s not big enough and not strong enough, but does the little things that are required out of a truly good player. His hockey IQ, his agility, and his knack for setting-up teammates to score give him the edge over the streaky forward and the puck moving defenseman.

Regardless of when it happens, Vincent Trocheck will force himself into the Florida Panthers lineup. Maybe he can use his fourth and final rookie camp as a springboard into his second professional season.

Rocco Grimaldi: “This is my job. I’m going to do whatever I can to do the best at my job”.

The Florida Panthers have wrapped up day 3 of the on-ice portion of this off-season’s development camp. With 34 players invited to the annual event, one individual with very little size has had no issues fitting in with sizable competition . Rocco Grimaldi, taken in the 2nd round of the 2011 NHL Entry draft, has put on a show for Panthers fans this week, showing that size doesn’t always matter.

Grimaldi, 21, signed an entry-level deal with the Panthers last month after spending his last two full-seasons at the University of North Dakota, where he compiled 77 points (31G-46A-77P) in 82 games.

After falling short of the Frozen Four three-seasons ago, North Daktota earned another shot this past year when Grimaldi notched his first NCAA hat trick, beating the University of Wisconsin in the process. Shortly after, Grimaldi and North Dakota downed Ferris State in a gripping double overtime final, which sent North Dakota into the Frozen Four, impressing the collegiate hockey world.

But no one has been more impressed with Grimaldi than Brian Skrudland, the Panthers director of player development.

“When I went to the University of North Dakota, and I sat in the crowd, I felt so proud that Rocco Grimaldi was a Panther because people are talking about him. They’re all talking about him, getting ready for warm-ups saying ‘Hey, watch this little guy! He’s going to light it up’. He never disappoints.”

As any young athlete with the dream of becoming a professional, Grimaldi understands the challenges of the profession he has chosen. With the six free agent signings the Panthers made this off-season, Grimaldi knows that it’s not going to be an easy road ahead, but is hopeful of his future as Panther.

“I like a challenge though”, Grimaldi admits. “I think that’s going to be good for me, and obviously they brought in some good guys. I’m excited for what the future has in store here. I think they’re going to do some good things here in the coming years. Hopefully I’ll be a part of it sooner than later.”

With a near complete roster, and forwards like Vincent Trocheck and Drew Shore fighting for a spot on the NHL lineup as well, Grimaldi knows his journey to the NHL has become more difficult.

“Obviously if playing in the NHL was easy, then everyone would play”, explained Grimaldi. “I knew it was going to be hard, but those are just the sacrifices you’re willing to make. If that means not being able to hang out with your friends for a night and training instead, then so be it. This is a business now. This is my job. I’m going to do whatever I can to do the best at my job”.

Though he continues to face challenges, this positive attitude is what makes Grimaldi an attractive commodity to Panthers faithful.

“He’s got a great attitude”, Skrudland said. “I think he’s matured as a person. He’s become a better teammate in the 3 years that I’ve had the opportunity to work with him. He’s a very attentive individual, smart, and caring individual to his teammates.”

Even with a loaded roster, Skrudland see’s no reason to believe that Rocco and the prospects attending camp don’t have a shot at cracking the line up come October.

“He’s going to fit in here great.” Skrudland said of Grimaldi. “You never know. He might just be that guy who says ‘You know what, Brendan Gallagher did it in Montreal, I’m coming in here, I’m not going to San Antonio (Rampage)’. But it’s for them (prospects) to decide”.

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Florida Panthers D-Camp Day Two Spotlight: Defensemen

Although C Aleksander Barkov put on quite the display of individual talent of his own during the shootout drill at today’s development camp, the defense was the talk of the town among those spectating. Armed to the teeth with towering defensemen, the Panthers blueline of the future is intimidating. But don’t let the size fool you, they are quick on their feet as well. With an array of different types of defensemen at their disposal, the possibilities are endless down the road for Florida’s defense.

Take 2014 First Overall selection Aaron Ekblad  for example. Ekblad has been the must see defenseman at camp so far, due to the hype that surrounds him and his likeliness of making the Florida Panthers roster at the start of the 2014-15 season. His 6’4″, 220 lbs frame make him a physical specimen at just 18-years of age. Despite his size, he moves the puck quite well and has a heavy shot, which will come in handy for Florida’s struggling power play.

Brian Skrudland, last season’s Assistant Coach of the Panthers has returned to his former Player Development role and has been very impressed by Ekblad after only day two. “I’m impressed at the individual, first and foremost as a human being. The way he treats everybody, the way he carries himself. I’m also impressed at the way the guy can skate and shoot and play the game of hockey. He’s a very heads up individual.”

Although Ekblad may be the prospect most fans will see first in a Panthers uniform, he is followed by an incredibly talented defensive core, who will make their way up to the pro ranks shortly. Both Michael Matheson (2012, 23rd overall) and Ian McCoshen (2013, 31st overall) play together for Boston College and are two of the team’s top defensemen. Matheson, who is entering his junior year of college, will be serving as captain for the BC Eagles this season and has off the charts skating ability. He’s a puck mover comparable to current Panthers blueliner Brian Campbell and stands at 6’2″, 180 lbs, giving him the ability to not only emulate Campbell, but has a few inches on him as well.

Choosing to go the college route instead of joining the Canadian Major Juniors, Matheson felt he could work more on his game at the college level despite having more of a fast track to the NHL through a league like the CHL. The 20-year old defenseman knows that he may be getting closer to being NHL ready but is focused on the task at hand.

“I still have work to do”, says Matheson. “I’m not quite at this (NHL) level. I need to work on my decision-making, simplifying my game and just staying more consistent all-around”.

Manager of Player Development, Bryan McCabe, gave Matheson a glowing review, “He’s strong. He blew all the tests in the gym away, as usual.”

“He can skate like the wind. He’s always in great shape, he’s a true professional,” says McCabe.

Matheson’s BC teammate McCoshen stands at 6’3″, 215 lbs and brings more size to lineup. The Faribault, Minnesota native is coming off an impressive Freshman season posting 13 points (5-8-13) in 35 games, showing he can develop some more offensive skill to go along with the shutdown frame he possesses thus far. McCoshen also represented Team USA at the World Junior Championship last season.

Another defenseman that has come up in conversation from General Manger Dale Tallon is 2013 seventh round draft gem, MacKenzie Weegar. The smallest defenseman of the group, Weegar is 5’11”, 183 lbs, and describes his game as, “Defensively sound” and “poised with the puck.”

“(I) control my own game,” says, Weegar. “I like to play the body as well, I’m a pretty solid guy, pretty thick, I may not have the size but if I play smart back there, then there’s a lot of offensive chances and that’s what I like to create.”

Playing alongside premiere players with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL for the last two seasons like 2014 Calder Trophy Winner, Nathan MacKinnon and Tampa Bay Lightning 2013 First Rounder (Third Overall), Jonathan Drouin, Weegar claims he learned a lot by playing with them as well as playing alongside San Jose Sharks prospect Konrad Abelthauser.

Rounding out the development camp group is Josh Brown (6’5″ 213 lbs), Jonathan Racine (6’2″, 194 lbs), Michael Downing (6’3″, 192 lbs), Ed Wittchow (6’4″, 205 lbs) and Shayne Taker (6’4″, 210 lbs). The staggering amount of size on the blueline that’s listed here is still omitting some who are still young, but have seen a fair share of NHL action like Erik Gudbranson (6’5″. 215 lbs), Dylan Olsen (6’2″, 223 lbs) and Alex Petrovic (6’4″, 206 lbs).

“It’s not only the size,” says Skrudland. “It’s the mobility of these guys today. I’m in awe when I get out on the ice and see how fast they are and how mobile. Even off the ice,these guys are wonderful athletes. We feel very fortunate and there’s a good chance that some of them will have an opportunity here, very shortly, if not this year.”

Wednesday will be a day off for the prospects as development camp continues on Thursday, July 10th from 8:45am-12:00pm at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.

 

Follow Mike  on Twitter @MikeLewy11

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Panthers Announce 2014 Development Camp Dates and Roster

On Wednesday afternoon, the Florida Panthers announced the dates, times and roster for their annual Development Camp. The camp will be held at Panthers Ice Den in Coral Springs Florida from July 7-11. All practices and scrimmages will be open to the public.

Notable invitees are 2014 1st overall pick Aaron Ekblad, 2014 32nd overall pick Jayce Hawryluk, 2013 2nd overall pick Aleksander Barkov, 2012 22nd overall pick Mike Matheson

Camp dates, times and activities:

Monday, July 7th (1:15pm-2:30pm & 2:45pm-4pm) – On ice

Tuesday, July 8th (8:45am-10am & 10:15am-11:30am) – On ice

Wednesday, July 9th- There will be no On ice session.

Thursday, July 10th (8:45am-10:15am & 9:45 am-12pm) On ice

Friday, July 11th (9am-11am) Scrimmage

Camp Roster

F Aleksander Barkov

F Joe Basaraba

F Francis Beauvillier

F Conner Brickley

D Josh Brown

F Matt Buckles

F Chris Clapperton

D Michael Downing

D Aaron Ekblad

F Miguel Fiddler

D Ben Gallacher

F Rocco Grimaldi

F Jayce Hawryluk

F Steven Hodges

F Zach Hyman

F Yaroslav Kosov

F Juho Lammikko

D Michael Matheson

D Ian McCoshen

D Jonathan Racine

F Kyle Rau

F Logan Shaw

D Colin Suellentrop

D Shayne Taker

F Vincent Trocheck

F Tony Turgeon

F Mike Vecchione

D Mackenzie Weegar

F Joe Wegwerth

F Ed Witchow

G Sam Brittain

G Evan Cowley

G Hugo Fagerblom

G Colin Stevens

We hope to see everyone there!

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

 

Florida Panthers Select Jayce Hawryluk in Second Round, No. 32 Overall

SECOND ROUND –

The Florida Panthers kicked off Day 2 of the NHL Entry draft with the 32nd overall selection, which they used to select Brandon Wheat Kings right-winger, Jayce Hawryluk.

Hawryluk, 18, becomes the 37th prospect selected from the Western Hockey League by the Florida Panthers in franchise history. Notable WHL draftees include Jay Bouwmeester, Rhett Warrener, and Rob Neidermeyer.

Hawryluk was a huge part of the Wheat Kings success this past season as he led his team in scoring, tallying 64 points (24G-40A) in 59 games. Standing at 5’10, 192 lbs, Hawryluk plays a big game, and is comparable to gritty, small forwards Brendan Gallagher and Brad Marchand.

Hockey’s Future Talent Analysis:

“Hawryluk is an offensively skilled forward used in all situations. Shoots the puck well. Gritty forward that will drive to the net aggressively. Reliable defensively.”

 

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Florida Panthers Select D Aaron Ekblad First Overall

After many months of trade speculation regarding the Florida Panthers 1st overall pick, Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers decided to stay pat, and select defenseman Aaron Ekblad from the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

Although the Panthers have a ton of young defensemen in their system such as Ian McCoshen, Mike Matheson, Erik Gudbranson, Dmitry Kulikov, and Mackenzie Weegar, Ekblad brings a whole new element to their blue-line. With a right-handed shot, a physical presence, and well-rounded defensive game, Ekblad looks to backstop the Panthers defense for years to come.

The question of him being NHL ready or not will be up to Tallon and Panthers faithful to decide after training camp, but Ekblad is no stranger to being the little fish in a big pond. Granted “exceptional player status” in 2011, Ekblad became the very first defenseman to receive this honor, which allowed him to enter the OHL draft at just 15 years old, where he was always much younger than his competitors.

Ekblad is another piece to the puzzle as the Panthers look to build a playoff contender in the near future.

You can watch Aaron Ekblad and the rest of the Panthers prospects at the Panthers annual Development Camp, which begins July 7th at the Panthers Ice Den in Coral Spring FL.

 

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

 

2014 Draft Profile: Nikolaj Ehlers

If there is any player in this year’s draft class that can easily sneak his way into the top five at the draft on Friday, it’s Nikolaj Ehlers of the Halifax Mooseheads. Ranked at 13 by NHL Central Scouting, Ehlers is the top prospect from the QMJHL in a class that is dominated by the OHL and WHL. At the midterm rankings, central scouting had Ehlers ranked at 22. The left winger skyrocketed his way into consideration to be one of the elite prospects in this years draft pool. The 2013-14 season was Ehlers first season of North American hockey and the transition was one that was done with ease. Ehlers was phenomenal, posting 104 points (49-55-104) in 63 games and 28 points (11-17-28) in 16 playoff games earning him the title of QMJHL Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year and Best Professional Prospect.

Born in Denmark, Ehlers’ was grew up around hockey with his father Heinz Ehlers being a professional player himself. The elder Ehlers’ was a ninth round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 1984. Despite never suiting up for an NHL game he played pro hockey around Europe in the top leagues in Sweden and Germany, before becoming a coach and moving his family to Switzerland. At age 11, Nikolaj began his new life in Switzerland and started developing the skills that make him the standout player he is today. In the 2012-13 season, Ehlers got the chance to play for Biel as a 16-year old in the Swiss-A league, the same team that locked out NHL stars, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane played on while they awaited their regular jobs to resume back in North America. After playing a few games of pro hockey with men, Ehlers was drafted sixth overall in the CHL Import Draft by Halifax.

The word that seems to follow Ehlers around is “dynamic”. He has incredible speed, soft hands and the ability to open a game up offensively for his team. Halifax looked to fill the void that Nathan MacKinnon left in the Mooseheads lineup when he left for the Colorado Avalanche, and Ehlers did just that. The 104 points that Ehlers scored this season ranked him fourth in QMJHL scoring, right behind his teammate and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, Jonathan Drouin‘s 108 point (29-79-108) campaign. Many scouts originally thought that Ehlers’ play was made responsible by Drouin’s top-end playmaking skills, but once Ehlers was moved off of Drouin’s line, he still excelled. Scouts began changing their tune pretty quickly and although Central Scouting has him ranked outside of the top ten, many including ESPN‘s Corey Pronman and TSN‘s Craig Button have Ehlers ranked fifth and sixth overall respectively.

The team that walks away with Nikolaj Ehlers at the draft could be strolling away with one of the biggest steals of the class if developed properly. It’s no secret among scouts that Ehlers needs to put on weight. His 5’11” 163 lbs. frame may help him be a dominant force among teenagers and young men, but will not help him against grown men. It would be criminal to rush Ehlers into the NHL next season. The Danish forward will need to get bigger and stronger, not to mention prove he can carry a Halifax team without Drouin and even their top defenseman, Florida Panthers prospect, Mackenzie Weegar. It may take a year or two for Ehlers to be NHL ready, but the wait will be well worth it.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon made it no secret during his scouting trip in Halifax that Ehlers was on the Panthers radar in some capacity, even comparing him to the draft selection he made in Chicago in 2007, another year where it was looked at as a “weak draft”. That pick was Patrick Kane. The possibility of the Panthers trading down to get a winger wouldn’t come as a shock considering the offers for that number one pick could be of good value and could add a dynamic scorer to the depth chart for Florida. The Panthers lack a true goal scoring threat and the speedy forward might be the right choice for the team if they trade down. Aside from just being a goal scorer, Ehlers reads plays well, is not afraid to go into the corners and is responsible defensively as well, as he saw time on the penalty kill and also led the league with a highly impressive plus-65 rating.

A clip of Tallon talking Weegar and Ehlers (starts at 2:32)

No matter who chooses Ehlers at the draft, he is bound to find himself in the top ten. His ability to dance through defensemen and pile on points will not be ignored. Keep an eye on this prospect for a few years, even if he isn’t NHL ready just yet, when he’s ready he could explode onto the scene. The flashy Dane brings what Tallon described as “an entertainment value” and teams have to put people in the seats. Many factors contribute to a prospect’s successful transition into the NHL but if Ehler’s transition to major junior from Europe is any indication of his potential, then Ehlers very well might have a solid career in the NHL.

NIKOLAJ EHLERS
POSITION:LW
HEIGHT: 5’11″
WEIGHT: 163 lbs.
SHOOTS: LEFT
TEAM: HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS (QMJHL)
UNIFORM NUMBER: 24
NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING RANK: #13 NORTH AMERICA

 

2012-2013 Biel U20 Elite Jr. A 32 26 23 49 34 | Relegation 2 4 0 4 2
Biel NLA 11 1 1 2 0 | Playoffs 7 0 3 3 0
Denmark U18 WJC-18 D1A 5 3 8 11 2 |
Denmark U18 (all) International-Jr 13 7 14 21 8 |
Denmark U20 (all) International-Jr 3 1 1 2 2 |
 2013-2014 Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL 63 49 55 104 51 | Playoffs 16 11 17 28 18
Denmark U20 WJC-20 D1A 5 2 4 6 4 |
Denmark U20 (all) International-Jr 5 2 4 6 4 |

 

 

Follow Mike  on Twitter @MikeLewy11

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

2014 Draft Profile: Michael Dal Colle

Names like Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart may be the talk of the town when it comes to top forwards in the 2014 draft, but Oshawa Generals left winger, Michael Dal Colle should not be overlooked. Armed with one of the best releases in this year’s draft class, the Woodbridge, Ontario native was a scoring machine this year helping his Oshawa club reach first place in the conference with his 95 points (39-56-95) in 67 games played and 20 points (8-12-20) in 12 postseason contests. Dal Colle can fly under the radar on the ice at times and doesn’t come with a lot of pizzazz to his game, but he has proven to be a reliable player at both ends of the ice throughout his development in the OHL.

Drafted seventh overall by Oshawa in 2012, Dal Colle had an impressive rookie season, finishing fifth in rookie scoring with 48 points (15-33-48) in 63 games and led Team Canada to a Gold Medal with the game winning goal in their win over Team USA at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

During his two seasons with the Generals, Dal Colle has become a key player to the team’s success due to his offensive instincts, ability to make plays and versatility in his game. The left shot winger has operated well in special teams units for Oshawa killing penalties and working the point on the power play. Dal Colle finished in fifth in power play goals in the league with 16 and ranked ninth for power play assists with 27.

The hangups about Dal Colle have been his lack of physicality. Not the most intimidating player and a bit timid at times in his play, Dal Colle needs to learn to use his size to his advantage. While his 6’2″ 180 lbs frame may allow him to get by pretty well in major junior, he will have to learn how to maximize that size at the pro level. He doesn’t play a physical game, which is why some have believed that his pairing with Philadelphia Flyers prospect, Scott Laughton may have had a direct impact on his stats.

Laughton (a first round pick in 2012) plays a more complete game than Dal Colle, but they are both completely different types of players. Laughton is a prototypical Flyers forward who goes the dirty areas and will crash and bang, which compliments the opposite, Dal Colle. The two forwards had undeniable chemistry through the season as wowed in the OHL. Despite the chatter, Dal Colle deserves credit for his success, as he too makes those around him better. Laughton had a career high 23 goals last season during his draft year before jumping to 40 playing alongside Dal Colle. Vancouver Canucks  prospect, Cole Cassels  has also been a beneficiary of playing with Dal Colle as he reached a career high 73 points (24-49-73) making the leap from a career high 43 the previous year.

When analyzing what Dal Colle could bring the Florida Panthers, he could slot in as a compliment on the left side for Aleksander Barkov. While the jury is still out on how much of an impact he could make at the NHL level, Dal Colle already possesses an NHL-caliber shot which coupled with his projectable frame could be his meal ticket to the show. With Jonathan Huberdeau leading the list of left wings of the future in Florida, players like Brandon Pirri, Rocco Grimaldi and  Kyle Rau could all be moved to the left side at some point, while Chris Clapperton and Quinton Howden round out the list as the only natural left wings and Howden, the only one of those wingers with size. With four undersized wingers, an option like Dal Colle not only would provide excellent competition within the organization but can fill a size need as well down the road.

Projected by the NHL’s central scouting list as the fifth ranked skater in North America all season long, Dal Colle has made a case for himself as one of the better offensive players in the draft this year. His slick passing and top-end shooting skills have gotten him into the talk to be a top five selection on June 27 despite not changing position in rank this year.  The hype may be placed elsewhere in the draft, but make no mistake, Dal Colle could prove to be a very effective goal scorer for years to come in the NHL.

MICHAEL DAL COLLE
POSITION:LW
HEIGHT:6’2″
WEIGHT: 180 lbs.
SHOOTS: LEFT
TEAM: OSHAWA GENERALS (OHL)
UNIFORM NUMBER: 71
NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING RANK: #5 NORTH AMERICA


Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2012-13 Oshawa Generals OHL 63 15 33 48 18 19 9 2 3 5 6
2013-14 Oshawa Generals OHL 67 39 56 95 34 8 12 8 12 20 0

 

Follow Mike  on Twitter @MikeLewy11

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

%d bloggers like this: