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Farm Cats: Pat's Peak At Panthers Prospects

All the latest from the Panthers prospects playing in the AHL and leagues around the world.

Friday, 01.24.2014 / 10:30 AM / News
By Patrick McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Farm Cats: Pat\'s Peak At Panthers Prospects
All the latest from the Panthers prospects playing in the AHL and leagues around the world.

How many times have you found yourself lost at the water cooler as the daily banter steers towards a discussion of the Florida Panther prospects currently playing in the Canadian Hockey League? Or how about Mondays when the whole office is buzzing about Rocco Grimaldi’s big weekend at the University of North Dakota (aka “the other UND”) and you are unable to participate due to your lack of information about the latest out of Grand Forks??

To you we say: Fear not, friend!

Because if this sounds like you then a) you should be happy that are working in such an awesome office and b) we have you covered with our new feature “Farm Cats” where we will provide you with regular updates on all the important goings-on in the Florida Panthers farm system (if you ended up here because you were looking for content about actual cats on actual farms then I apologize….maybe try YouTube I bet they have tons of lovely videos to satisfy all your “cats frolicking on farms” needs.)

Anyway let’s get right into it….

San Antonio Rampage (AHL):

The American Hockey League is the top minor hockey league in North America. If you make it to the AHL, you are just a phone call away from realizing your NHL dreams. The Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage (@sarampage), is where Florida’s top prospects go to cut their teeth and adjust to the professional level of play before making the leap to join the stars in Sunrise. Here is the latest from the Rampage:

Through 40 games, the Rampage are led in scoring by 20-year-old forward Vincent Trochek (@trochek_89) who, in his first season out of juniors, has tallied 27 points (12-15-27) in 37 games. Bobby Butler, a talented 26-year-old winger who many thought had a chance to make the Panthers out of training camp, is second on the team in scoring with 24 points (12-12-24) through 39 games.

San Antonio’s record is 15-21-1-3. With 34 points they currently occupy the 14th position in the Western Conference, eight points behind the final playoff spot. Last week the Rampage went 2-1 with both wins coming in shootouts, 3-2 and 5-4 versus the Utica Comets and the Milwaukee Admirals respectively. They followed up the victories with a 3-2 home loss to the Rochester Americans on Saturday.

Here are some quick hits:

*Quinton Howden scored his 5th and 6th goals of the season last week while Joey Crabb added two power-play goals of his own against Milwaukee to bring his season total to six as well.

*Jacob Markstrom left Thursday’s win over the Admirals with an injury but he is expected to be back in the net this weekend. Marky has accumulated a 7-9-1-0 record with San Antonio so far to go along with a 2.67 GAA and a .918 Sv%.

*There were a couple players on the move this week as San Antonio acquired F Derek Nesbitt from the Oklahoma City Barons in exchange for F Jack Combs, and C Ryan Martindale was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for C Steve Pinizzotto.

Further Down the Farm

The Panthers farm system extends far beyond just the AHL. The Panthers and the Nashville Predators share a joint affiliation with the Cincinnati Cyclones (@CincyCyclones) of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The Panthers also have a plethora of prospects scattered throughout the college ranks and junior leagues throughout the continent.

Here is what you need to know about this crew:

ECHL

The Cyclones went 1-2 in their three home games last week. It was an uncharacteristically tough week for the Double C who sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.

Juniors

Speaking of Double C’s Chris Clapperton, Florida’s 5th round draft choice in the 2013 draft, has been red-hot for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (say that 5 times fast!) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He has tallied seven points (4-3-7) in seven January games including two goals in two games last week.

MacKenzie Weegar (7th round, 2013), had three points (1-2-3) in three games last week for the Halifax Mooseheads of the “Q”. Weegar now has 11 goals and 26 assists in 41 games this season. His 37 points rank him first amongst defensemen on the Moosehead, meaning he is not a laggard (or, for our Halifax beer aficionados, a Moosehead Lager).

NCAA

Panthers' defensive prospects Mike Matheson (1st round, 2012) (@MMatheson7) and Ian McCoshen (2nd round, 2013) (@IJMcCoshen3) helped the Boston College Eagles maintain their #2 ranking with three wins in three games over the past week. The Eagles topped their local rivals, Boston University, 6-4 on Friday, Jan 17. McCoshen scored his fourth goal of the year on Saturday as part of a 7-2 win against Maine.

Rocco Grimaldi (2nd round, 2011)(@RGrimaldi23) and the University of North Dakota managed a win and a tie in their two-game weekend series against Bemidji State. Grimaldi scored the only goal for UND in their 1-1 tie on Friday. Grimaldi’s goal was his team-leading 8th of the season and along with his team-leading 12 assists, he leads the Fighting Sioux with 20 points in 22 games.

Sam Brittain (4th round, 2010) of the University of Denver (#16) was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Goalie of the Week. Brittain posted a .940 Sv% and a 1.85 GAA on the way to a win and a tie in two games against Minnesota-Duluth over the weekend. The honor marks the fifth time Brittain has been named NCHC goalie of the week during his senior season.

Brittain’s success means limited playing time for his backup and fellow Panthers prospect, freshman Evan Cowley (4th round, 2013)(@ECtendy31). With only one start under his belt this season, Cowley figures to see a jump in playing time next season after Brittain graduates.

Kyle Rau (3rd round, 2011)(@KyleRau) tallied an assist for the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in their 1-0 win over OSU on Friday. The assist was Rau’s 16th of the season and with 21 points he is currently the Gophers’ third leading scorer.

Stay with us as we continue to bring you the latest on an extremely exciting crop of prospects here on the Panthers farm!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 0 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 1 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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