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Five Panthers Prospects Ranked Among Top 100 by ESPN.com

2014 First Round Draft Pick Aaron Ekblad Ranked as Top Defensive Prospect

Tuesday, 08.12.2014 / 2:51 PM ET / News
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Five Panthers Prospects Ranked Among Top 100 by ESPN.com

ESPN.com has ranked five Florida Panthers in its annual Top 100 prospects list. The list was released on Tuesday morning and was written by prospect and hockey analyst Corey Pronman.

Aaron Ekblad, Florida’s first overall pick from June’s NHL Draft, was listed as the top prospect from the 2014 draft class, the top defensive prospect, and the second ranked prospect overall.

Pronman noted the following about Ekblad:

"He's an elite physical specimen and has fantastic hockey IQ, a big slap shot and good skating and puck-moving ability.

Center Vincent Trocheck, who gained some NHL experience with the Panthers in the latter half of the 2013-14 season, was ranked 49th by Pronman. Pronman had this to say about the 2012-13 AHL MVP:

“Trocheck had a very successful first pro season, scoring a lot in the OHL (42 points in 55 games) and doing fine in the NHL while faced up against good players on a nightly basis. Trocheck plays hard and has really become an all-around player.”

2012 Panthers first round pick and Boston College defenseman Mike Matheson came in at #63, with Pronman calling him “one of the top defensemen in college hockey in 2013-14.”

Center Rocco Grimaldi, a “high-end skater, puck handler and finisher who plays with an edge you need” was ranked 76th, appearing on the Top 100 list for a second straight year.

Making his first appearance on the list, Matheson’s Boston College teammate Ian McCoshen, a 2013 selection of the club, was ranked 96th. Said Pronman: “He's just such a cool customer with the puck, and possesses a nice mobility-skill combo.”

The full list (subscription required) is available here.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 52 17 23 14 40
J. Huberdeau 55 11 29 12 40
J. Jokinen 55 11 27 12 38
V. Trocheck 55 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 55 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 51 11 13 -3 24
A. Ekblad 51 11 13 19 24
B. Campbell 55 5 18 20 23
N. Bjugstad 40 9 10 -3 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .927 2.23
A. Montoya 8 4 1 .926 2.06

 
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