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Features

30 in 30: Panthers Lineup Relies On Young Players

Sunday, 08.18.2013 / 1:05 PM / Features
By Mike Battaglino  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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30 in 30: Panthers Lineup Relies On Young Players
Here is the projected roster for the Panthers in 2013-14.

A year after a surprising division title, a mixture of injuries and regression left the Florida Panthers with the worst record in the NHL.

The Panthers did not make any seismic moves in attempt to yo-yo back into Stanley Cup Playoff contention, but another elite prospect, Aleksander Barkov, joins a stable of precocious talents, and general manager Dale Tallon will let the development of those players dictate how much the team can improve in 2013-14.

Stephen Weiss, the team's No. 1 center for the past five seasons, went to the Detroit Red Wings on a five-year contract, but Barkov, the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, is expected to center one of the top two lines immediately. The Panthers did add a couple of potential role players up front, Scott Gomez and Joey Crabb.

A healthy roster will certainly help the Panthers be a little better this season. How well young players Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Erik Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom play will determine if it is a large improvement.

Here is the projected 2013-14 lineup for the Panthers:

2013-14 FANTASY PREVIEW: PANTHERS



Under-valued: Tomas Fleischmann -- In two seasons with the Panthers, Fleischmann has yet to miss a game and has been extremely consistent, averaging 0.74 points-per-game and 0.73 points-per-game, respectively. The forward's plus/minus won't impress, but playing alongside Jonathan Huberdeau could allow Fleischmann to put together the best season of his career.

Over-valued: Shawn Matthias -- In a span of 16 games during March last year, Matthias scored 11 goals, but in his other 32 games, he had  three. The 14 goals were a career high (even with the shortened season), but as a third-line forward on a struggling team, Matthias should be avoided in fantasy drafts.

Sleeper: Aleksander Barkov -- Barkov likely will be the reason Matthias is on the third line; the Finn could step in as Florida's second-line center. The soon-to-be 18-year-old is big (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) and has loads of potential on a team that should be willing to give him plenty of ice time.

-- Follow Matt Cubeta on Twitter: @NHLQubes

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Kris Versteeg

Tomas Fleischmann - Aleksander Barkov - Drew Shore

Shawn Matthias - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Quinton Howden - Scott Gomez - Scottie Upshall

Joey Crabb

Defensemen

Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Ed Jovanovski - Colby Robak

Matt Gilroy - Mike Mottau

Goalies

Jacob Markstrom

Scott Clemmensen

NOTES: Bjugstad and Barkov have a combined 11 games of NHL experience. It is possible Gomez or Goc ends up on one of the top two lines to start the season, but Bjugstad and Barkov should be there in short order. Shore could be the long-term No. 3 center but might make sense on the wing until some of the other young players arrive.

One name to watch in camp is Vincent Trochek, who lit up the Ontario Hockey League last season and could earn at least a nine-game look with the big club. If Bergenheim is ready to play, then the battle for the bottom-six forward slots could start to get crowded.

Robak isn't the only young player who could earn a spot on the blue line. Alex Petrovic is another defenseman who looks like a future fixture for the Panthers.

For all 30 in 30 stories go to NHL.com/30in30stories and for the full 30 in 30 schedule visit NHL.com/30in30.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 64 22 16 -9 38
J. Huberdeau 61 9 28 3 37
A. Ekblad 64 11 23 7 34
J. Jokinen 63 6 28 -1 34
B. Boyes 62 11 21 8 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 55 17 12 -4 29
B. Campbell 64 3 20 2 23
A. Barkov 53 10 12 -5 22
V. Trocheck 34 5 11 8 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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