#17: Josh Brown
Team: Springfield Falcons (AHL)
Drafted in 2013, 6th Round (152nd Overall)
Josh Brown has been in the Panthers organization for the past five seasons, though he only signed his entry-level contract in 2015 after captaining the Oshawa Generals to both the J. Robertson Cup (champion of the Ontario Hockey League) and the Memorial Cup (champion of all of Canadian Junior Hockey).
Brown is a huge defenseman, standing at 6”5’ and weighing 225 pounds. His size definitely aids him in doing what he’s best at, which is defending the blue line, winning board battles, and clearing the front of the net. Unfortunately, his skillset is quite limited, and offensive production does not come easy for the 24-year-old. In 66 games for Springfield last season, Brown managed just one goal and nine assists for a meager total of 10 points.
As a right handed shot, Brown’s path to the NHL is currently blocked by Aaron Ekblad, Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Mackenzie Weegar, and possibly Thomas Schemitsch. If injuries strike, it won’t be surprising to see Brown get some NHL time this season.
If everyone stays healthy, however, it’s tough to see Brown cracking the NHL roster, and at the age of 24, there’s a good chance he won’t be further developing as a player. His latest contract expires in 2020, and there’s no guarantee that Florida will be inking the Ontario native to a new deal. At this point, Josh Brown likely is what he is - a replacement level defender that gives the Panthers some decent depth at right defense for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons.
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