Although the Florida Panthers may be off to a cold start this season, their group of talented young prospects are hotter than ever in their respective junior leagues. Dale Tallon and the Panthers have been accumulating top prospects over the past several seasons and each year we get to sit back and marvel at the growth and development of the future stars in the making.
Below, I list my top 3 Panthers’ Prospects for the month of October:
1. Christopher Clapperton
Drafted in the 5th round by the Florida Panthers this season, the Quebec native Christopher Clapperton has been a man on a mission during the month of October as he currently sits 13th in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in points, scoring a whopping 23 points (7g-16a-23p) in just 13 games played. In fact, Clapperton is the only player in the top 20 who hasn’t played 15 or more games. Clapperton finished 2nd in scoring with the Blainville-Boisbriand of the QMJHL last season, and has shown no signs of slowing down as he leads his team in both points and assists. While Clapperton may not have the foot-speed and size of other young Panthers’ prospects, he has the determination and willingness to create plays and find the back of the net, and often, which he has shown thus far. Clapperton has also proved that he’s not just a player that shows up on the score sheet, but can also play a physical, and gritty style game which he brings with him night after night. So far this season alone, he’s racked up just enough PIMs (20) to put him with the 3rd most on his team, and 14th amongst the top 40 scorers in the QMJHL.
2. Vincent Trocheck
Over the past few weeks, Panthers’ fans have been screaming out for Panther’s prospect Vincent Trocheck to make his NHL debut to help give the Panthers the scoring spark they so desperately need. While I don’t necessarily agree that Trocheck is the answer at the moment, I certainly understand the desperation from fans. The 20-year-old Pittsburgh native who won both the scoring title (109 pts) and league MVP with the Plymouth Whalers last season, recently made the jump to the American Hockey League, currently residing in Texas with the San Antonio Rampage. There are always uncertainties with players who make the jump from a junior league to a pro league, but so far Trocheck has shown no signs of slowing his game down. The speedy centerman currently leads his team with 9 points in 8 games, and sits tied for 2nd in rookie points, just behind Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, Nikita Kucherov.
3. Kyle Rau
With the Minnesota Gophers 2013-2014 season already 6 games in, Kyle Rau has wasted no time adjusting to life without line-mate and current Panther centerman, Nick Bjugstad. With a handful of highly touted college prospects in the Florida Panthers system such as Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen, and Rocco Grimaldi, it’s Kyle Rau who comes out on top for the month of October with 8 points in 6 games, and a 1.33 points-per-game average. With a little help from their Captain who is 4th in the NCAA assists category with 7 helpers, the Gophers currently sit at the top of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Division 1 standings with a strong 5-0-1 record.
- Mackenzie Weegar- QMJHL- (3g-12a-15p in 17 gms)
- Rocco Grimaldi-NCAA- (2g-3a-5p in 5 gms)
- Alexander Delnov- WHL- (7g-8a-15p in 15 gms)
- Ian McCoshen- NCAA- (2g-1a-3p in 5 gms)
Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
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