Florida Panthers Top 25 Under 25: #18 Jayce Hawryluk
Hawryluk was thrilled when the Panthers selected him 32nd overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and his continued development and consistent two-way play make it likely that he'll be suiting up for the Cats sooner, rather than later.
Birthdate: 01/01/1996 (19)
Acquired: 2nd round selection (#32 overall) 2014 NHL Entry Draft
2014-15 Team/League: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Size: 5'10", 187 pounds
Contract Status: Unsigned (drafted 2013)
Jayce Hawryluk had a successful 2014-2015 season while playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings, scoring 65 points in 54 games and coming in second on his team in terms of plus-minus (flawed statistic, but we really don't have much else to use in junior leagues).
Though he's a bit on the smaller side, the 19-year-old forward plays a fierce, aggressive game, and isn't afraid to use his body. He also showcases above average offensive skills, so the whole package is a solid two-way player who can contribute on the scoresheet and help the team out defensively.
Seeing as it's unlikely that Hawryluk makes the pro roster out of training camp, he'll likely be sent back down to the WHL. The young forward has unfinished business in the Dub, as his team lost in the Western Hockey League Finals to the Kelowna Rockets, and will be expected to contend for the championship again next year.
Seeing as us down here in South Florida don't get to see Hawryluk skate often, we reached out to ESPN Insider prospects guru, Corey Pronman, to give us some expectations for the tenacious forward next season.
LBC: If you were in charge of Hawryluk’s development, what would you want to see from him in 2015-2016?
Pronman: For him, I think making the U20 team would be a notable accomplishment. He's a real candidate as of now, but he's no lock, especially if guys like Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner get sent back. It may not be fair, but given how strong Brandon likely will be this year, anything less than one of the top scorers in the WHL would be below expectations.
Given the youngster's current progression in the WHL, it's possible that he does make it among the league leaders in points during his 20-year-old season. Making the World Junior Championship team would also be a great accomplishment for Hawryluk, and given how strong Canada is every year, would show just how talented he is.
Though he's still young, Hawryluk has shown encouraging signs in his development, and looks like he will live up to his potential as a middle six forward that puts up a decent number of points while also having a positive influence on the possession game.
Where We Voted for Hawryluk
Who We Voted 18th
|Evan Cowley||Kyle Rau||Sam Brittain||Reilly Smith||Juho Lammikko|