Taken in the third round (87th overall) in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, speedy and savvy Justin Sourdif is the second player from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants to ever be selected by the Florida Panthers. For all you Florida hockey historians out there, Michael Repik was the first back in 2007.
Prior to being Bill Zito’s fourth selection as the Panthers general manager, Sourdif appeared in 125 career regular season games over his first two seasons with the Giants, amassing 49 goals and 100 points to go along with 75 PIMs and a +56 rating. Additionally, Sourdif suited up in 24 playoff games with Vancouver and produced two goals and six assists, with of all those points coming during the 2019 postseason.
As WHL rookie in 2018-19, Sourdif led all freshmen Giants with 23 goals, making him just the third Vancouver skater to surpass the 20-goal mark during their 16-year-old season.
In his draft season, Sourdif’s 26 goals were second best on the Vancouver roster and he finished third on the club in scoring with 54 points. In January of 2020, he appeared in the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Hamilton, Ontario and recorded a helper in Team Red’s 5-3 victory over Team White.
This past season, Sourdif was named player of the year in the B.C, Division as the WHL played a truncated, division-based schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 19-year-old led all B.C. Division skaters with 23 assists and 34 points, scoring in 17 of Vancouver’s 22 games. He produced nine points on the power play, five while shorthanded and finished with a +10 rating. His 34 points were tied for third-highest in the league behind the Winnipeg Ice’s Peyton Krebs (43) and Ben McCartney (37) of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
After producing 1.545 points per game in 2020-21, Sourdif is now up to a total of 134 points in 147 career games in major junior.
According to Elite Prospects 2020 Draft Guide Sourdif has a powerful, hands-in-front release with occasional crafty placement — he’s a legitimate long-range threat when he shoots. His off of the puck skating patterns, timing, and a nose for soft ice put him in the best possible shooting position. He’s a tremendously athletic player and skates with a low centre of gravity, allowing him to bulldoze through traffic.