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Florida Panthers Top 25 Under 25: #20 Jonathan Racine

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The rugged defender from the "Q" continues to slowly work his way to the NHL.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jonathan Racine

Position: Defense

Birthdate: 05/28/1993 (22)

Acquired: 3rd round selection (#87 overall) 2011 NHL Entry Draft

2014-15 Team/League: San Antonio Rampage (AHL)

Stats:

GP G A PTS PIM +/-
70 0 7 7 149 8

Nationality: Canadian

Size: 6'2"; 202 lbs.

Contract Status: Final season of ELC

Drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft after a solid four-year stint in the QMJHL with Shawinigan and Moncton, Racine continues to make steady progress towards becoming an NHL regular.

The tough 22-year-old logged 70 games and seven assists in his second full season with the Rampage, up from 51 games and six helpers the prior season, and appeared in all three of San Antonio's playoff losses to Oklahoma City, where he chipped in an assist and finished with a +1 rating.

From Hockey's Future:

Racine possesses a high level of defensive awareness and hockey smarts and is a terrific athlete — a combination that makes him a highly effective defender. Racine will play a hard hitting, physical game, but he will more often use those skills to supplement outstanding positioning and tactical play in his own zone. He rarely makes wrong choices even under heavy pressure and is a capable transition player even though he is not an attacking defender.

Racine is a prototypical defensive-defenseman who will take the body and protect his teammates. He led the Rampage with 149 PIM last year after piling up 91 as an AHL rookie. After 129 regular season games in the AHL, he only has 13 points to his credit and is still looking for his first professional goal, so don't look for him to help out much offensively.

Embarking on his third pro season, Racine should receive an even bigger role this season with the Portland Pirates. He is in the final year of his ELC, so he will need to continue showing improvement to remain a part of the organization. Expect Racine to add to his one-game NHL total with the Cats sometime this season if they need help on the back end due to injury. Florida appears fully set on defense this year, but with older players on the blue line coming off the books after this season, expect Racine, provided he earns a second contract with the club, to get a long look at a regular spot in 2016-17.

Where We Voted for Racine

Shane Todd JC Kevin Donny
NR 17 NR 15 19

Who We Voted 20th

Shane Todd JC Kevin Donny
Connor Brickley Ian McCoshen Evan Cowley Mackenzie Weegar

Jayce Hawryluk