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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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