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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 - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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