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Panthers select defensemen Evan Nause and Vladislav Lukashevich

Zito goes back to back on the back end

NHL-Florida Panthers 2021 Draft Round 1 Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

After selecting forward Mackie Samoskevich in the first round, Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito went on the defensive with the club’s next two picks.

The Panthers took Evan Nause in the second round (56th overall) and Vladislav Lukashevich in the fourth (120th overall).

Nause (6’2” - 185 lbs) appeared in 32 games with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts and produced 4 goals and 18 assists during the truncated regular season. He scored a goal and added an assist in six postseason games.

His skill as a skater lends itself exceptionally well to the breakout. Nause creates advantages for himself on every defensive zone puck retrieval, shoulder checking for options, using the environment to obstruct forecheckers, adapting his speed to the situation, and using the middle of the ice to create controlled exits. - EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide

Lukashevich (6’2” - 159 lbs) appeared in 36 games with Loko Yaroslavl of the MHL. He totaled 3 goals and 16 assists and collected an assist in five postseason games.

His puck-moving is perhaps the best aspect of his game. He shows deception, an unusual patience with the puck, a desire to beat forecheckers 1-on-1 and make plays through them, and the passing ability that supports these kinds of plays. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide