The Florida Panthers selected lanky forward Henrik Rybinski in the fifth round (136th overall) at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft back in June at Rogers Place in Vancouver.
In the season prior to being chosen by the Cats, Rybinski played in 47 combined games with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers (14) and Seattle Thunderbirds (33) and put up eight goals and 40 points. He also played 9 games (1G/12A) with the Junior A-level Coquitlam Express of the BCHL.
I had previously done two check-ins (November and January) with Florida’s 2019 draft class as they began the 2019-20 season, so we’ll start with that text and then see how he finished off the campaign before it was first postponed and then ultimately canceled six days later due to the coronavirus.
November: After averaging just over a point a game (35) in 33 tilts with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds last season, Rybinski’s offensive totals have taken a serious dip in the first segement of the 2019-20 campaign. The talented playmaker from Vancouver has amassed just 2 goals and 7 helpers in 22 games played. Rybinski is also tied with Andrej Kukuca with a team-worst -18 rating. The Thunderbirds are struggling as a team and Rybinski is definitely feeling the effects of this.
January: Rybinski has turned things around big time since our first update. He has produced 8 goals and 11 assists over his last 22 games as the Thunderbirds have moved into a wild card position in the WHL’s Western Conference. If he keeps up that pace, he should have no problem setting a new personal best in points as he is only seven off that mark (35) with 23 games left to go. Of note, Rybinski is already up to 55 PIM after accumulating a total of 54 in his first two WHL seasons.
May: After heating up during the middle portion of the season, Rybinski’s offensive production came crashing down towards the end. In his final nine games of the season, he scored just one goal and picked up two more assists to finish the season with 31 points in 53 games. Considering he put up 35 points in his 33 games with Seattle last year, his overall numbers for the 2019-20 campaign are disappointing. He did jump from 26 PIM to 61 PIM. The question is, is this the sign of more physically involved player or is it more a sign of a skilled playmaker frustrated that he is not contributing more offensively.
Rybinski will return to the WHL next season where he’ll need to get bigger and strong and try to get back to being the over a PPG player that he was for the Thunderbirds in 2018-19. As of right now, Rybinski cannot be looked at as anything but a very long range prospect.
What does Rybinski’s future hold?
This poll is closed
Strictly minor-league fodder