Panthers set opening night roster

Cats will roll with 22 to start the season

The Florida Panthers made a pair of moves on Monday to set the opening night roster for Thursday night’s regular season opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Defenseman Ian McCoshen was assigned to the Springfield Thunderbirds where he will likely make his professional debut on Saturday when the T-Birds visit Lehigh Valley.

Forward Paul Thompson was placed on waivers and will report to Springfield if he is not claimed by another NHL team.

With Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau slated to go on injured reserve the Panthers will open the season with a 22-man roster, one under the NHL maximum.

With Steven Kampfer, who can also play forward, as the seventh defenseman the Cats must feel they don’t need a third body in the press box right now.

Those injuries to Bjugstad and Huberdeau opened up a couple slots that allowed for a few surprises among the forward group.

Rookie Denis Malgin was a long shot to make the big club at the start of the summer, but parlayed his fine showing at development camp and during rookie tournament into a roster spot.

Although it might not happen Thursday, veteran AHLer Shane Harper will finally make his NHL debut in the near future.

And finally Greg McKegg, who played 15 regular season and 1 playoff game for the Cats last season, also claimed a fourth line spot.

Forwards (13)

Aleksander Barkov, Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Marchessault, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith, Jussi Jokinen, Denis Malgin, Colton Scevior, Jared McCann, Derek MacKenzie, Greg McKegg, Shane Harper, Shawn Thornton

Defenseman (7)

Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad, Jason Demers, Mike Matheson, Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Steven Kampfer

Goalies (2)

Roberto Luongo, James Reimer