Panthers add to organizational depth with five picks on day two of the 2018 NHL Draft

Cats select three forwards and two defensemen

The Florida Panthers traded its third round pick in 2019 to Nashville for the Predators 2018 third-rounder and ended up selecting five players during day two of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas. The Cats picked skilled Russian forward Grigori Denisenko in the first round (15th overall) on Friday night,

Florida selected forward Serron Noel in the second round (34th overall), forward Logan Hutsko in the third round (89th overall), forward Justin Schutz in the sixth round (170th overall), and defensemen Cole Krygier (201st overall) and Santtu Kinnunen (207th overall)  in the seventh round.

Noel, played in 62 regular season games with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, recording 53 points (28G/25A). His 28 goals were second-highest on the team. The 6’5” forward picked up one assist in five postseason games.

Internationally, Noel represented Canada at the 2018 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship, producing six points (2G/4A) in five games. He won gold with Canada at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

The 19-year-old Hutsko appeared in 37 games with the Boston College Eagles, producing 31 points (12G/19A) and helped his club clinch a 2017-18 Hockey East regular season title. The 5’ 10”, 172-pound forward was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and earned Hockey East All-Rookie Team honors, impressive honors for the freshman.

Schutz, a 17-year-old German, appeared in 40 regular season games with Red Bull Hockey Akademie of the Czech U-18 league, recording 62 points (24G/38A). He led the Czech U-18 league in assists and finished second in scoring. The 5-foot-11, 176-pounder registered four points (1G/3A) in five playoff games.

Krygier, the son of former NHLer Todd Krygier who played 543 games for Hartford, Washington and Anaheim, appeared in 58 regular season games with the USHL’s Lincoln Stars, totaling 17 points on 3 goals and 14 assists. The 6’ 3”, 192-pound blueliner notched two points (1G/1A) in seven playoff games. Krygier is committed to Michigan State for the 2018-19 season.

Kinnunen, a 19-year-old Finn, suited up for 43 games with Pelicans U-20 of the Finnish junior hockey league, recording 24 points (4G/20A). The lanky 6’2”, 154-pound native of Lahti, also appeared in 11 games with Peliitat of Mestis, the Finnish second-tier league, registering four assists. In four relegation games with Peliitat, Kinnunen scored a goal and added an assist.

What grade do you give the Panthers at this year’s draft?