SUNRISE, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Goaltender Brian Foster #33 of the Florida Panthers looks towards the corner after making a save against the Nashville Predators on September 19, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
With another AHL season in the books, it's a prudent time to review progress of the Florida Panthers' assets within the American League. While prospects like Drew Shore and Alexander Petrovic did dress for the San Antonio Rampage during their recent AHL playoff run, I left them out due to a very small sample size. The prospects under review here are those who had played at least two full seasons in a professional North American league (the only exception being Roman Derlyuk, who logged legitimate minutes in the KHL). Stats and progress notes after the jump...
Foster split time with teams in both seasons, playing with Cincinnati and the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the CHL in 2010-11. Came to Cincinnati in February, played most of the Cyclones' remaining games. Started off 2011-12 in the AHL, replacing promoted Jacob Markstrom, where he played 12 games and finished with a 3.64 GAA/.885 Sv% (in 609 minutes). Played 585 more minutes in the ECHL while never playing more than eight games per month until April, where he posted a 3.05 GAA and a .889 Sv% in 629 minutes (11 games). Foster's contract expires at the end of the season and is a restricted free agent.
|2011-12||22||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||32||17||12||1||71||979||908||.927||2.32||1||0||1839|
Markstrom played 335 less minutes than he did in his rookie season with Rochester, but improved every part of his game. Replacing injured Scott Clemmensen at the start of the season, Markstrom played seven games with the Panthers, finishing with a .923 Sv% and 2.66 GAA in 383 NHL minutes. In the AHL, he turned his nearly three goal per game average around while leading the Rampage to their first playoff berth in three seasons thanks to a clutch month of March (1.73 GAA and .946 Sv% in 382 minutes in seven games). In eight American League playoff games he finished with a .907 Sv% and 2.85 GAA. One season remains on his Entry Level Contract and is widely expected to challenge Jose Theodore for the starter's job in 2012-13.
|2011-12||23||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||68||5||8||13||4||63||5||0||0||70||7.1|
Caruso has played 283 AHL games in four seasons with zero NHL appearances. His offensive game has steadily improved: shooting percentage, born at 2.4 in his rookie season (1 goal on 41 shots) has relatively ballooned to 7.1, while also reaching a pro-career high in points (13), and tied a career high in goals from a year ago. His time with the Panthers may be up, as he is an RFA at seasons' end.
|2010-11||24||HC Dynamo Moscow
|2011-12||25||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||69||2
Derlyuk played 123 games in the KHL before coming to North America a year ago, where he logged the most games of his career at 69 (79 counting playoffs). A sixth round pick by Florida in 2005, Derlyuk started slow (as expected) with a minus-2 and zero goals on 13 shots in 29 games, but improved in the 2012 calender year with a plus-3 and 2 goals on 34 shots in the remaining 40 games. Signed a one-year deal a year ago, and is an RFA in July.
|2011-12||21||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||73||9||30||49||15||30||7||2||0||144||6.3|
Robak led the Rampage defense in points and placed second among the position in playoff scoring, while playing an improved role with more ice time than his rookie season with Rochester. In just 73 games - more than any member of the Rampage - Robak scored nearly 40 points and went from a minus-12 with the Americans to a plus-15 with San Antonio. He earned a short three-game call-up with the Panthers, garnering a plus-one; will see increased time in 2012-13.
|2010-11||23||Abbotsford Heat/Manitoba Moose||AHL||63||5||18||23||-8||26||2||3||0||113||4.4|
|2011-12||24||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||45||3||10||13||-9||12||3||0||0||49||6.1|
Seabrook began the season in the ECHL; in nine games he scored two goals on 25 shots (8.0%) with a plus-one. A career 0.34 points per game, Seabrook finished 2011-12 at 0.29 and his plus/minus was a career-worst minus-9. His entry level contract expires at the end of the season.
|2011-12||23||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||55||14||21||35||2||51||11||3||0||170||8.2|
Repik - battling injuries throughout the season - collected a personal low in assists and points this year, averaging 0.64 points per game (career: 0.73), while finishing sixth in scoring for the Rampage. In four years with the Panthers organization, Repik has played 72 NHL games and scored only 20 points, nine of which were goals on 119 shots (7.6% career shooting percentage). He's an RFA at the end of the season.
|2011-12||21||Norfolk Admirals/San Antonio Rampage||AHL||76||12||21||33||-6||29||9||2||1||124||9.7|
Wright was acquired in December from the Tampa Bay Lighting organization, with whom he played 49 NHL games (48 as a 19 year-old). The Panthers are hoping a change in scenery can restart the development of the fourth-round pick from '08. Wright had an impressive playoff run with San Antonio: scored seven points in 10 games, six in the five-game series against Chicago. Wright's Entry Level Contract expires at the end of this season.
|2011-12||22||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||70||11||16||27||12||34||11||0||0||128||8.6|
Timmins played 19 games with the Panthers in 2010-11, and led the Rochester Americans in plus/minus. With more ice time, Timmins scored more points and increased his plus/minus (10). Timmins has another season left on his Entry Level deal, and is expected to push for NHL ice time next season.