Projecting Lines: Florida Panthers
It is that time of year… just a few months out from the beginning of October which means the start of a new NHL season. This offseason was a busy one, so this series will tackle the projecting starting lineups for each NHL team.
A bit of a shake up upfront for the Panthers will hopefully result in a playoff berth come this March. Losing their top goal scorer seemed to not faze management in Florida. Injuries halted the Panthers success last season, Huberdeau and Barkov only dressed in a limited amount of games. The Panthers also parted ways with the second all time NHL leading scorer, that is Jaromir Jagr, and brought in a new Russian stud in Evgeni Dadonov. Look for Florida to scoop up one of the remaining veteran forwards who are still a free agent. Keep on the lookout for Owen Tippett – the Panthers first round selection in this year’s draft. He’s got a shot like no other from his draft class.
L, C, R
Johnathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck
Evegeni Dadonov, Nick Bjugstad, Radim Vrbata
Denis Malgin, Jared McCann, Owen Tippett
Derek MacKenzie, Micheal Haley, Colton Sceviour
The D-core is built around their star player, the man child that is Aaron Ekblad. I remember watching an interview of this kid when he was 16 and his voice was deeper than the majority of 40 year old fathers. He is built like a work horse and has a solid supporting cast around him. The Panthers are deep when it comes to defensemen. From 1 to 6 they can all make a difference from the back end.
Michael Matheson, Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle, Alex Petrovic
Mark Pysyk, Jason Demers
The Panthers cannot be relying on their 38 year old veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo to do all of the heavy lfiting this year. He may still have some gas left in the tank, but I think Reimer will be playing a bigger role this year.