Mid Season Panthers Top 20 Prospects

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  1. Brock

    Brock Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    It's time for the updated mid season Florida Panthers Top 20 Prospect List. Graduated from the preseason top 20 are Mike Richards, Marek Svatos, Brent Burns and Chris Campoli.

    1. Rob Schremp
    Otten's take: "Robbie is having an absolute monster season in the OHL. He continues to progress as a player, working on his game 5 on 5, his skating and his defensive awareness. He's already earned us 1 million in endorsement money by reaching 100 points. Schremp is ready to take that next step next year in the AHL and see what he can do at the next level."
    Preseason Ranking - 2

    2. Tuuka Rask
    Otten's take: "Tuuka has had a pretty up and down year. He started off slowly in the Sm-Liiga, but has recently picked up his play. A big reason for that is probably his performance at the WJC's where he was dynamite for Finland. By making the all star team at that event, Tuuka has earned us another 1 million in endorsement money. He may still be a little bit away from making an impact in the NHL, but he's one of the better goaltending prospects in the league, if not the best."
    Preseason Ranking - 3

    3. Evan Mcgrath
    Otten's take: "It feels good to have the top two scorers in the Ontario Hockey League. Evan has been outstanding for the Rangers this season. We wanted to see him step up his game big time with their loss of Mike Richards, and he's done just that. I think he leads the Rangers in scoring by a good 20-30 points. He's also working hard on being more consistent, which is what we told him after training camp. Like Schremp, Mcgrath is ready for the next level. He also has an outstanding chance of cracking the 100 point plateau, which if Schremp can win a top award, could get us another 1 million in endorsements."
    Preseason Ranking - 10

    4. Kevin Bieksa
    Otten's take: "He had an injury to start the season, but now that he is fully healed, he's been playing like he's capable of. Kevin is a mean, nasty defender, but also more then capable offensively. We think he could be a fixture on our second pairing for a while."
    Preseason Ranking - 11

    5. Julien Ellis
    Otten's take: "Julien has had a bit of a tough season. His stats aren't as impressive as last year, but he was also cut from the Team Canada junior team. He's still a very solid goalie, who will make the jump to the AHL next year and show us what he's made of."
    Preseason Ranking - 13

    6. Keith Yandle
    Otten's take: "Keith Yandle, there is a name we can't get enough of right now. He's leading the QMJHL in defenseman scoring by nearly 10 points, not to mention sporting the top +/- in the league. This guy could be really good."
    Preseason Ranking - H.M.

    7. Casey Borer
    Otten's take: "St. Cloud State's rock solid defenseman, Borer seems like a sure bet to be an NHL player. He can skate and hes outstanding defensively. He finally scored his first NCAA goal the other week."
    Preseason Ranking - 16

    8. Ivan Khomutov
    Otten's take: "I believe the last time we talked about Ivan, I mentioned how people needed to be a lot more patient with him. He's had a much better sophomore season in the AHL and at twenty years old, he's still got more growing to go. He is a real wild card for us."
    Preseason Ranking - 20

    9. Geoff Platt
    Otten's take: "A signing by our talent scouts after the preseason, Geoff has been an incredible find for us. He's a pure sniper, who's quick, works hard and just explodes to the net. We believe he could be a solid second liner."
    Preseason Ranking - n/a

    10. Matt Nickerson
    Otten's take: "The nastiest mofo around. We sent Nickerson to Finland this year to work on controlling himself. He's been outstanding in the games he manages to stay in, but he still needs to control himself a bit more. However our scouts have told us because of his reputation, he's getting tossed for things that other guys wouldn't be. His offensive game has also really picked up. He'll be back over in North America next season to see how these changes have effected his development. We really like the kid though. The thought of him and Exelby patrolling the same blueline should send shivers down the back of many forwards for years."
    Preseason Ranking - n/a

    11. Dwight Helminen
    Otten's take: "Struggled in his first professional season last year, bouncing from AHL to ECHL. This year has been an entirely different story as he's played a huge role in Hartford of the AHL, becoming a goal scoring machine. The fact that he's such a good defensive player, now with his scoring touch makes him an interesting prospect."
    Preseason Ranking - H.M.

    12. Randall Gelech
    Otten's take: "His offensive numbers still aren't great, but when you look at the team he's playing on, you realize what he's dealing with. He's a hard working forward who should be able to develop into your prototypical third line winger."
    Preseason Ranking - 15

    13. Ryan Oulahen
    Otten's take: "His first professional season has definitely been a success so far. He's playing hard and every night. He's also chipping in offensively. Similar to Gelech, Oulahen should end up being a very capable third liner for us one day."
    Preseason Ranking - 14

    14. Geoff Paukovich
    Otten's take: "We acquired him from the Sharks earlier this season and while he's struggled mightily offensively this year, his performance for team USA at the WJC's was actually quite impressive to us. He's a big guy who's actually pretty skilled. Since the WJC's ended, his offensive game has seemed to pick up so hopefully he can build off that."
    Preseason Ranking - n/a

    15. Yared Hagos
    Otten's take: "Yared has had some trouble adjusting to the AHL this year. He's still an excellent defender, but his offensive game needs to pick up a bit. He's also had trouble getting a lot of playing time, being stuck on the bottom lines. We hope he decides to stick it out over here and not go back to Europe after one lackluster AHL season."
    Preseason Ranking - 7

    16. Tom Gilbert
    Otten's take: "Gilbert has really had a good season for Wisconsin. He's been a steady number one for them. He's solid all around. We hope to lure him professional soon so we can see what he can do professionally."
    Preseason Ranking - H.M.

    17. Kyle Kluberantz
    Otten's take: "Gilbert's defense partner, Kluberantz has had a solid sophomore effort. He's providing offense as well as working on his defensive game. We are very interested to see how he progresses through the rest of his collegiate career."
    Preseason Ranking - 19

    18. Jonathan Siglet
    Otten's take: "We are very happy with Jonathan's development this season. He left college early to turn pro and actually worked hard to earn a spot on the AHL club. He's secured that spot with some very hard work and solid offensive abilities. He needs to work on some things, particularly get stronger, but he's only 19!"
    Preseason Ranking - H.M.

    19. Michael Vernace
    Otten's take: "Solid offensive blueliner with Brampton. Working hard to imrpove his defensive game. Next year he will turn pro and we'll get a better read of his future."
    Preseason Ranking - 17

    20. David Clarkson
    Otten's take: "Like Platt, Clarkson was a free agent pick up following preseason. He's played very well for our AHL club as a pest who contributes offensively."
    Preseason Ranking - n/a

    Honorable Mention
    BJ Crombeen - 18th preseason
    Karl Stewart
    Cal O'Reilly
    Roman Tomanek

    Esteban Santour
    Florida Post
  2. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Good read, Brock! Quite a few interesting names on your list that fly under a lot of people's radar - Geoff Paukovich is a guy I think might be better suited to the AHL than the NCAA...
  3. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Great White North
    Columbus Prospects - Forward Motion

    (edit - moved to new thread)

    Great article, Brock, and a good inspiration!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2006
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