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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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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