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

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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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