Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito sent the Pittsburgh Penguins the Cats’ seventh round pick in 2023 to acquire Pittsburgh’s seventh round pick (214th overall) in 2022 and used it to select forward Liam Arnsby
The 18-year-old appeared in 46 games with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion during his draft season, producing 26 points (9G/17A) which ranked ninth on the club. Arnsby’s offensive totals saw a modest increase (five more goals, one more assist in nine less games) over his first year in North Bay. Not the best of stats, however, he did flip his plus/minus rating from -25 to +9, a marked improvement.
Arnsby appeared in all 13 of the Battalion’s postseason games, posting six assists as the club advanced to the conference finals before falling to eventual league champions Hamilton.
They had this to say on the prospect:
February 2022: A heart and soul type of player. Arnsby is a relentless worker who reads the ice and anticipates the next play at an elite level. He is quick and confident in his decisions with and without the puck. He is above average moving in any direction, particularly in small ice areas. He competes for pucks in board play and in traffic. Plays all situations for his team.
May 2020: Liam is a late 2003 who has earned ice time in every situation including an opening game draw against his former teammate Shane Wright. He showed very good poise on line rushes and if anything tried to do a little too much after zone entry, but I liked his confidence and willingness to make plays. Defensively he was physical and ended Kingston’s puck cycling quickly. He’s a young kid with good vision and an excellent motor. I love his compete and how he battled to the end.
Although his numbers don’t reflect it yet, the high-energy Arnsby does have some tools that should result in more offensive production as he continues to mature. That, coupled with his grittiness, could result in this late-round pick earning an entry-level contract at some point in the future. He’s definitely a long-range prospect, but there is potential there.