With the 2018 NHL Entry Draft rapidly approaching, let’s take a look back at Florida’s seven-man draft haul from two years ago and see how they performed during the 2017-18 season
Henrik Borgstrom (First Round - 23rd overall)
Considered by many to be reach when taken at 23rd overall, the highly-skilled Borgstrom got his first taste of the NHL after completing his sophomore season with the Denver Pioneers.
After signing an entry-level contract on March 26, Borgstrom played in four games with the Panthers and scored his first NHL goal against the Boston Bruins in a 4-2 win in Florida’s final regular season game. The lanky 20-year-old averaged 12:40 TOI and registered a total of six shots on goal and finished with a -1 rating.
During his final season with the Pioneers, Borgstrom bettered his numbers from his freshman campaign with 23 goals and 29 assists in 40 games. At the end of the 2017–18 NCAA season, he was named a Hobey Baker Award finalist and a First-Team West All-American.
The future is bright for Borgstrom, who will be expected to make the club, perhaps centering the third line, out of training camp.
Adam Mascherin (Second Round - 38th overall)
Depending on how he turns out if and when he gets to the bigs, Mascherin could join the likes of San Jose’s Joonas Donskoi and Toronto’s Zach Hyman as Panthers draftees that got away and became useful players for other teams.
There has long seemed to be a disconnect between the Florida organization and Mascherin, who decided not to sign with the club and is re-entering the draft after Dale Tallon failed to trade his rights to another team before June 1st. Not matter where the blame lies, squandering a second pick, especially a relatively high-one, is not a good look.
Mascherin scored 40 goals and added 46 assists for the OHL Kitchener Rangers. The goals were a career-best, but his 86 points were 14 less than the prior season. The left winger performed very well for Kitchener in the playoffs, producing 24 points (9G/15A) in 19 postseason games.
Linus Nassen (Third Round - 89th overall)
After his selection by Florida, Nassen spent one more season in Sweden, mainly with Lulea HF, before making the move to North America.
Nassen played this past season for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL and scored one goal in 44 games. The young blueliner assisted on 25 goals to finish with a respectable 26 points to go along with a -11 rating.
The 20-year-old saw action in three games of Medicine Hat’s six-game loss to Brandon in the opening round of the playoffs.
Jonathan Ang (Fourth Round - 94th overall)
In his fourth OHL season, Ang scored 25 goals and set a new-career highs with 45 assists and 70 points in 65 combined games with the Peterbrough Petes and Sarnia Sting.
Ang produced 9 points (2G/7A) in 12 postseason games as the Sting was bounced in the second round of the playoffs by Mascherin’s Kitchener Rangers.
Ang already signed his entry-level contract last November, so look for the extremely speedy forward to try to turn some heads at training camp before he likely makes his way north to the Springfield Thunderbirds to start his professional career.
Riley Stillman (Fourth Round - 114th overall)
Twenty picks after taking Ang, the Cats went defense when they selected the son of Panther alum Cory Stillman.
Last season, Riley appeared in a combined 62 games for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals and Hamilton Bulldogs. Stillman set a new-career highs with 29 assists and 34 points. In his 33 games with Hamilton, Stillman posted an impressive +22 rating.
Stillman had a monster postseason, racking up 23 PIM and scoring 5 goals (as many as he bagged in the regular season) and 9 assists in 21 games as the Bulldogs won the league championship.
The 20-year-old played in all four of Hamilton’s games at the 2018 Memorial Cup, where they were eliminated in the semi-final by the Regina Pats.
Like his fellow fourth-rounder Ang, Stillman has already signed his entry-level deal. Look for him to start his pro career with the Thunderbirds come October.
Maxim Mamin (Sixth Round - 175th overall)
Instead of taking an 18-year-old long range prospect, the Panthers used this pick on a slightly older player with professional experience. The move seems to have paid off as Mamin has already made it to the NHL and hasn’t looked at all out of place.
Mamin spent one more year in the KHL before coming over to North America last season. In 32 games at the AHL level with the Thunderbirds, the 23-year-old Russian put up 25 points (9G/16A) in 32 games, very good numbers for an offensively-challenged Springfield team.
In 26 games with Florida, Mamin totaled 3 goals, his first career marker came against the Washington Capitals on February 22, and set up another to finish with 4 points and +2 rating.
Mamin started to look very comfortable in the Panthers bottom-six as time wore on. Look for him to make more of an impact this season.
Benjamin Finkelstein (Seventh Round - 195th Overall)
With its final pick in Buffalo, the Cats went the prep school route when it selected Kimball Union’s Finkelstein.
The smallish offensive-minded defenseman enrolled at St. Lawrence University and produced 23 points in 37 games as freshman. In his sophomore season, Finkelstein produced 12 points in 20 games (with a -13 rating) before leaving St. Lawrence for the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks, where he racked up 34 points in 23 games and 6 more in 8 playoff tilts.
Finkelstein will return to the NCAA next season, having enrolled with the Boston College Eagles.
Which member of 2016 draft class will make the biggest impact with the Panthers?
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