Features
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Panthers Look To Youngsters For Jump Start

Thursday, 08.7.2008 / 11:35 AM ET / Features
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Panthers Look To Youngsters For Jump Start

Florida Panthers' prospect Shawn Matthias helped Team Canada win the gold at the 2008 World Junior Championship with three goals and five points in five games.
Shawn Matthias 2007-08 season highlights
It's apparent the Florida Panthers have signaled the start of their youth movement following the trade of scoring leader Olli Jokinen at the 2008 Entry Draft. In fact, according to General Manager Jacques Martin, now is as good a time as any to give a few budding prospects within the organization a chance to shine.
 
"I feel we have some kids like (Shawn) Matthias and (Michael) Frolik that could be ready to play," Martin said.
 
In the Entry Draft, Florida used three of its five picks on defensemen and another to select Swedish goalie Jacob Markstrom (31st overall).
 
Here's a look at a few of the Panthers top prospects,
 
CENTERS
 
Shawn Matthias -- Mattias was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round in 2006; he came to the Panthers at the 2007 trade deadline in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi. Mattias played for Team Canada at the 2008 World Junior Championship, helping the Canadians win the gold medal with three goals and five points in five games.
 
Matthias' Belleville Bulls fell a game short of the Ontario Hockey League championship, dropping a seven-game series to Kitchener and newly appointed Panthers coach, Peter DeBoer. He established career highs with 47 assists, 79 points and a plus-21 rating in 53 games. He also scored two goals in a four-game callup with the Panthers and, with the departure of Jokinen and Jozef Stumpel, has a good chance to make the team this fall.
 
WINGS
 
Mike Frolik -- Frolik has been compared to Steve Larmer, the longtime NHL veteran who starred for the Chicago Blackhawks.
 
The native of Kladno in the Czech Republic played his first season of North American hockey with the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07, finishing fourth among rookies with 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists). He then represented the Czech Republic in the 2007 World Junior Championships, registering four goals and two assists in six games. Injuries slowed his progress this past season with Rimouski, but he still managed 65 points, including 41 assists, in 44 games.
 
Michael Repik -- Repik, a native of Vlasim in the Czech Republic, was sidelined for two months with a concussion but returned to complete his third full season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. He finished with 27 goals, 61 points and a plus-29 rating in 51 games. He also compiled five goals and six assists in 10 playoff games.
 
Kenndal McArdle -- McArdle, the Panthers' first-round pick (No. 20 overall) in 2005, had a tough time in his first professional season. He struggled to overcome injuries (broken jaw, fractured foot) with Rochester of the AHL, scoring just five goals in 36 games. He was demoted to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL at the end of the season, registering three goals and four points in six games.
 
McArdle, 21, averaged a point a game for Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League in 2005-06 and 2006-07 season. He had 10 goals and 20 points in 26 games for the Warriors in 2006-07 before being dealt to Vancouver in November 2006. He played a role in the Giants' Memorial Cup-winning season, totaling 22 points and 54 penalty minutes in 37 games before signing a contract with the Panthers.
 
DEFENSE
 
Keaton Ellerby -- In his third season with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, Ellerby, a first-round pick (No. 10 overall) in 2007, racked up a career-high 25 points, including 23 assists, and 120 penalty minutes. He split time with Kamloops and Moose Jaw this past season, totaling 21 assists, 23 points and 81 penalty minutes with the Warriors. Despite his good mobility and feistiness, he still needs to exhibit more consistency.
 
Derrick Lapoint -- The fourth-round pick (No 116 overall) in 2006, Lapoint is the Panthers' top-rated NCAA prospect, even though he's just a year removed from posting 13 goals and 36 assists in 59 games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. The 6-foot-3, 186-pounder chipped in with two goals and five assists in 31 games as a freshman for the North Dakota.
 
Lapoint was dominant in the Wisconsin High School ranks, earning High School Player of the Year while playing for Eau Claire North High. He displayed solid skating skills, good passing and stickhandling ability while logging plenty of minutes.
 
GOALIES
 
Tyler Plante -- The Panthers' second pick in the 2005 Draft turned pro in 2007-08 after spending four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League -- during which he won the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the top rookie in the WHL after going 34-11-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average in 2004-05.
 
Plante struggled at the AHL level, going 6-16-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage with Rochester. He was better with Florida of the ECHL, where he went 4-5-1 with a 2.81 GAA and .921 save percentage in 10 games.
 
Contact Mike Morreale at mmorreale@nhl.com.



Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.