Florida Panthers News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Fansided: Florida Panthers Need to Bring Back RFA MacKenzie Weegar
After an admiral rookie season that saw MacKenzie Weegar have a spot in the Florida Panthers' squad for a majority of the season, Weegar began to build on that season.
The 25-year-old played a career-high 64 games last season, recording career highs in goals, points, blocks, hits, and more throughout the 2018-19 campaign.
Weegar alternated between defensive partners a lot last season, mostly playing on the bottom pair with either Ian McCoshen, Josh Brown, or Bogdan Kiselevich in the early parts of the season.
Weegar also occasionally played alongside Keith Yandle on the second pair when Mark Pysyk struggled, which helped him increase his confidence.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Need to Re-Sign RFA Juho Lammikko
When you look at Florida's roster, the most glaring holes that need to be addressed come on the blue line and in the crease. The team's top-six is as solid as it's ever been in franchise history and shouldn't be altered too much this offseason.
That said, the forward group as a whole drops off after the top two lines. Rat Trick contributor, Matt Lichtenstadter, recently wrote a piece on the Panthers needing to improve their bottom six and I couldn't agree more.
When it comes to building a supporting cast to round out the bottom of the forward core, there should be no hesitation from the Panthers front office when it comes to re-signing Juho Lammikko.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Require a Successful Vincent Trocheck
The Florida Panthers are loaded with talented young players. Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Mike Matheson, Henrik Borgstrom, and MacKenzie Weegar to name a few.
While the "kids" are taking over, the veterans are providing excellent complimentary seasons as well, with Mike Hoffman recording his first 30+ goal season, Yandle's first 60+ point season, and Dadonov's first 70-point season.
However, amidst the record seasons from the above mentioned, the Panthers still found their season over before the playoffs even began.
My NHL Trade Rumors: NHL Rumors: Golden Knights Laying Trade Groundwork ... Panthers To Meet With Bobrovsky And Panarin On Monday
Jesse Granger of The Athletic: Multiple sources have said that the Vegas Golden Knights have laid the groundwork for potentially multiple trades.
The Golden Knights and restricted free agent William Karlsson are close on a long-term deal in the $6 to $7.5 million range.
"Those are the things that we're working on," McCrimmon said. "William (Karlsson) is a priority for us, and hopefully sooner than later we can have him under contract past this year."
The Golden Knights are going to need to make some trades to clear out salary to get under the cap.
Litter Box Cats: Florida Panthers take four forwards in rounds five through seven of NHL Draft
The Florida Panthers concluded the 2019 NHL Entry Draft be selecting forwards Henrik Rybinski in the fifth round (136th overall), Owen Lindmark in the fifth round (137th overall), Greg Meireles in the sixth round (168th overall) and Matthew Wedman in the seventh round (199th overall).
Rybinski, 17, appeared in 33 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), posting 35 points (7G/28A). He also appeared in 14 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers, recording five points (1G/4A) and notched 12 points (1G/11A) in nine games with the BCHL's Coquitlam Express. The 6-foot, 176-pound native of Vancouver registered two assists in six postseason games with Seattle.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok 52nd Overall
With the 52nd overall pick, the Florida Panthers selected defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok from Minsk, Belarus.
6'2'', 187 lbs and left-handed, Kolyachonok played with the Flint Thunderbirds (OHL) during the 2018-19 campaign. In 53 games, Kolyachonok recorded 4G, 25A, and 29 points during that span.
Originally, Kolyachonok was a member of the London Knights, participating in only one game (recording an assist) before being waived. Once the Thunderbirds picked him up, Kolyachonok never looked back and only blossomed from there.
A two-way defenseman with speed and defensive awareness, Kolyachonok possesses the ability to play in any role on the back end.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Defenseman John Ludvig 69th Overall
With the 69th pick, the Florida Panthers selected defenseman John Ludvig from Kamloops (BC), Canada.
6'1'', 198 lbs and left-handed, Ludvig played with the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 58 games, Ludvig recorded 5G, 13, and 18 points. The previous season (2017-18), he only tallied 2G, 5A, and 7 points in 51 games.
Known for his solid build, Ludvig isn't afraid to throw his body and loves to connect with an opposing forward when they meet at the blue line. Furthermore, Ludvig is a player who will drop the gloves to stick up for himself or a teammate in the heat of the moment.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Defenseman Carter Berger 106th Overall
With the 106th pick, the Florida Panthers selected defenseman Carter Berger from North Vancouver (BC), Canada.
6'0'', 201 lbs and left-handed, Berger played with the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 54 games, Berger recorded 27G, 36A, for 63 points. The previous year (2017-18), he tallied 10G, 24A, and 34 points in 56 games.
Berger closed out the 2018-19 campaign as the league's leading defenseman in goals (27) and points (63). In result of his outstanding play, he was named to the BCHL's First Team All-Star.
Carter is regarded as a player who likes to jump up in the rush and provide his team with a fourth scoring option.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Forward Matthew Wedman 199th Overall
With the 199th pick, the Florida Panthers selected overage forward (LW) Matthew Wedman from Edmonton (AB), Canada.
6'3'', 196 lbs and left-handed, Wedman played for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 66 games, Wedman recorded 40G, 37A, for 77 points.
A year prior (2017-18), he tallied 17G, 30A, and 47 points in 72 games, serving as the team's alternate captain. In his sophomore season, Wedman registered 6G, 14A, and 20 points in 48 games, helping Seattle win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Wedman is regarded as a finisher, someone who has a nose for goal.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Forward Greg Meireles 168th Overall
With the 168th pick, the Florida Panthers selected overage forward (C/RW) Greg Meireles from Ottawa (ON), Canada.
5'10", 190 lbs and right-handed, Meireles played for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 68 games, Meireles recorded 36G, 61A, for 97 points, serving as the team's alternate captain that year.
The previous year (2017-18), Meireles tallied 13G, 17A, and 30 points in 55 games. In his rookie season (2016-17), he registered 17G, 25A, and 42 points in 66 games.
In result of his outstanding play during his rookie year, Meireles was named to the OHL's Second All-Rookie Team.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Forward Henry Rybinski 136th Overall
With the 136th overall pick, the Florida Panthers selected LW Henry Rybinski (a.k.a. Henrik Rybinski) from Vancouver (BC), Canada.
6'1'', 170 lbs and right-handed, Rybinski played with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 14 games, Rybinski recorded 1G, 4A, for 5 points. With the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL, he put up 1G, 11A, and 12 points in 9 games.
Later in the season, Rybinski was dealt to the Seattle Thunderbirds, tallying 7G, 28A, and 35 points in 33 games.
Rybinski is regarded as a pass-first player who likes to set up his teammates.
Fansided: Florida Panthers Select Forward Cole Schwindt 81st Overall
The Florida Panthers acquired the 81st pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for picks 104 and 114. The Panthers would go on to select RW Cole Schwindt from Kitchener (ON), Canada.
6'3'', 176 lbs and right-handed, Schwindt played with the Mississauga Steelheads during the 2018-19 season. In 68 games, Schwindt recorded 19G, 30A, for 49 points. The previous year (2017-18) - his rookie season with the Fish - Schwindt put up 8G, 10A, and 18 points in 66 games.
A player known for his offensive instincts, Schwindt likes to get up in the play and provide his team with a reliable scoring option.
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