Our Florida Panthers T25U25 countdown rolls on with the Cats final choice at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
#6: MacKenzie Weegar
Team: Florida Panthers
Drafted in 2013, 7th Round (206th Overall)
The Panthers drafted Mackenzie Weegar with its final pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark after the offensive blueliner put up a gaudy 59 points in 61 regular season games with the Halifax Moosheads of the QMJHL.
Weegar marinated in the minors for three seasons, with his best AHL campaign coming in 2016-17, when he set career-highs with 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points for the San Antonio Rampage. The Ontario native also played his first three NHL games during that season.
This past season saw Weegar make the Panthers rroster out of training camp and appear in a total of 60 games. He scored his first NHL goal (and point) against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 20 in his first game of the 2017-18 campaign. Weegar finished the year with 2 goals, 6 assists, 32 PIM and a +5 rating.
With the signing of former KHLer Bogdan Kiselevich, Weegar will be in a battle with the Russian and fellow 2013 draftee Ian McCoshen to keep his spot in Florida’s bottom pairing. In addition to his good wheels and offensive ability, one thing working in Weegar’s favor is that he is no longer exempt from waivers, which should earn him the seventh-man spot, at worst.
Weegar will become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, so it is important he keeps improving. If he does so, with Alex Petrovic and Kiselevich set for unrestricted free agency, he could find himself a part of the club for the long term.
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