LBC's Top 25 Panthers Under 25: #24 Jonathan Racine
Litter Box Cats' Top 25 Under 25 continues with Moncton Wildcats defenseman Jonathan Racine. Racine was traded to Moncton from Shawinigan Cataractes on June 8th, just 12 days after winning the 2012 Memorial Cup. The Montreal, Quebec native is one of three 19-year old defensemen on the Wildcat roster, and is the most experienced among them.
With a fresh start on new team and the chance for more playing time, Racine, in the final year of his CHL eligibility, could have his finest season in juniors.
Position: D ▪ Shoots: Left
Height: 6-1 ▪ Weight: 181 lbs.
Born: May 28, 1993 (Age 19) in Montreal, QC
Draft: Florida, 3rd round (87th overall), 2011
Racine was selected 8th overall in the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft from the Saint-Eustache Vikings of the QMAAA. He played 55 games in his rookie year with the Cataractes, scoring only four points (all assists), and zero points in six playoff contacts. He played with Canada Québec U17 at the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, collecting zero points in five games, as Canada Québec finished fifth in the tournament.
Racine scored his first goal on October 13, 2010 in a contest against Val-d'Or Foreurs. He would score his second, and final, goal of the season against Baie-Comeau Drakkar. With two goals, Racine completed the season with seven points, a neutral plus/minus, and 86 penalty minutes in 68 games. He scored only one point (an assist) in 12 playoff games that season as well.
The fifth player taken by Florida in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Racine was also their third in the third round. Showing his physical game, he spent 107 minutes in the penalty box, while also earning himself a few suspensions. In 61 games, Racine notched his best season after scoring three goals, assisting ten, and finishing a plus-18. His offense didn't stop in the regular season as Racine scored six points in 11 playoff games. The 2012 Memorial Cup saw Racine participate in six games, scoring no points but earning 12 penalty minutes.
While Racine isn't an offensive-minded defenseman, he is extremely sound in his own zone. He isn't afraid to drop the gloves and is an excellent skater while his defensive awareness is solid for the junior level. He'll likely play for the AHL San Antonio Rampage for a few seasons, but he does have the talent to play in the NHL, granted it is at a bottom four caliber.