Florida Panthers add five prospects on Day 2 of NHL Draft

Cats stock the cupboards in what was, hopefully, the NHL’s last virtual draft

The Florida Panthers selected a total of five players during the second day of the 2021 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Bill Zito and crew selected defenseman Evan Nause in the second round (56th overall), defenseman Vladislav Lukashevich in the fourth round (120th overall), goaler Kirill Gerasimyuk in the fifth round (152nd overall), forward Jakub Kos in the sixth round (184th overall), and defenseman Braden Haché in the seven round (210th overall).

Nause appeared in 32 games with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts and produced four goals and 18 assists, tops amiong the Q’s rookie defensemen, during the truncated regular season. He scored a goal and added an assist in six postseason games. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of White Rock, British Columbia skated in 44 games with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede in 2019-20, ranking second among the team’s defense corps with 14 assists and 17 points.  He is committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2021-22 season

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 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 assist and point totals led all Loko defensemen and were tied for the most by a U18 defenseman in the league. The 6-foot-2, 159-pound native of Magadan, Russia has amassed 25 points (5G/20A) over 72 career MHL tilts.  On the international stage, Lukashevich earned a Gold Medal with Russia at the 2019 U17 World Hockey Challenge producing a goal and three assists over six 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

Gerasimyuk, the goalie Florida picked, appeared in five games for SKA-Neva (VHL) in 2020-21, posting a .913 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average. Over 27 games with SKA-Varyagi (MHL), the 17-year-old recorded a 14-13-0 record, a .931 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average. The 6-foot-2, 179-pound native of St. Petersburg, Russia posted a .916 save percentage and 1.80 goals against percentage over 17 games with SKA St. Petersburg’s U17 team in 2019-20.  On the international stage, Gerasimyuk earned a Silver Medal representing Russia at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship.

He’s calm and composed, quick to get down to the butterfly. just about unbeatable on his glove side, and controls rebounds with ease. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide

Kos, 18, suited up in 32 games with Ilves U20 in Finland’s SM-sarja in 2020-21, recording five goals and 18 points. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound native of Brno, Czech Republic has produced 36 points (9G/27A) over 65 games with Ilves U20 from 2019-20 to 2020-21. In 2018-19, he led the Czech Republic’s U16 league with 47 goals and 82 points over 33 games for HC Kometa Brno. On the international stage, Kos represented the Czech Republic at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, scoring one goal and one assist over five games.

Haché, 18, appeared in 29 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20, recording five assists. The OHL did not hold a season in 2020-21 due to the covid-19 pandemic. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound native of Manchester, NH earned an Ontario Minor Hockey Association Bronze Medal with the York Simcoe Express of the Eastern AAA Hockey League in 2018-19, registering two goals and 11 points in 26 games. He’s the son of OHL Director of Officiating and former NHL referee Conrad Haché.

On Friday, the Cats selected Mackie Samoskevich of the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Samoskevich put up 13 goals and 24 assists in 36 games. He recorded one goal and nine assists in eight games during the Clark Cup playoffs.

Grade the Florida Panthers draft