Florida Panthers Top 25 Under 25: #8 Mike Matheson

The former B.C. Eagle is almost ready to make a permanent landing in Sunrise.

Mike Matheson

Position: Defense

Birthdate: 02/27/1994 (21)

Acquired: 1st round selection (#23 overall) 2012 NHL Entry Draft

2014-15 Team/League: Boston College Eagles (NCAA) / San Antonio Rampage (AHL)

NCAA Stats:

38 3 22 25 26 -4

Nationality: Canadian

Size: 6'2"; 194 lbs.

Contract Status: Signed to ELC through 2017-18 season ($925,000 AAV)

The Florida Panthers made Matheson its first-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft after the young prospect posted 11 goals and 16 assists in 53 regular season games for the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints. In the playoffs, Matheson upped his level, scoring four times, while adding one helper, in 5 games. After being drafted, the native of Quebec enrolled at Boston College, where he spent the next three years preparing for an eventual NHL career.

From Hockey's Future:

Matheson is a top-flight offensive defenseman prospect. He has improved his defensive positioning since early in his college career but is still a work in progress in his own zone. He needs to improve his physical play and focus less on the puck as opponents attack. When he moves out of his zone Matheson shines. He has dazzling speed and is a skilled puckhandler who adds tremendous pressure up ice with his skating and his shot.

His package of skills and skating should serve him well in professional hockey. Long-term he projects as an effective skating defenseman capable of creating offense from the blueline. DobberProspects tracked Matheson's progress during his junior season:

September 2015 - Keep an eye on the Panthers training camp as Matheson will have an opportunity to make the team as early as this year. He got a taste of pro hockey late last season when he posted 2 points in 5 games with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. The former first round pick in 2012 has shown tremendous development during his time at Boston College, and looks poised to push hard for a roster spot. Recently completing his third season at Boston College, the skilled defensemen Matheson led his team in scoring with 25 points in 38 games. Overall he has scored 71 points in 112 games with Boston College. - Lee Rayson

December 2014 - Matheson has continued to become a more impactful player this season with Boston College as the talented defender has tallied 12 points in his first 17 games. His 12 points puts him in a tie for the team scoring lead. Matheson has already generated 47 shots in those 17 games which leaves him just one shot away from the team lead in that category also. He is still aways from being a valuable fantasy relevant NHL player but is certainly worthy of keeping an eye on in the coming years. - Lee Rayson

November 2014- Matheson has been named captain of the storied Boston College Eagles for his junior campaign. He has recorded four points through six games as he attempts to ecclipse his collegiate high of 25 points in his freshman year. - Zach Hopkins

In his junior season at Boston College, Matheson captained the team and was its leading scorer with 25 points. Pretty impressive stuff. Om March 31, he decided to leave school a year early and turn pro by inking his ELC with the Cats. Matheson ended up appearing in 5 AHL games for the San Antonio Rampage. He dished out two helpers and finished with a +1 rating and 8 PIM in his solid late-season stint with the Silver and Black.

Along with forward Connor Brickley, Matheson was one for Florida's most impressive players in the recently concluded Estero Rookie Tournament, The slick 21-year-old blueliner seems to be on the fast track for a roster spot on the Panthers in the near future. Portland Pirates coach Tom Rowe, who oversaw Florida's rookie team, stated in a radio interview that Matheson has all the tools to be a successful NHLer, but will need a year of seasoning in Portland. So expect him to get that, as well as some call up duty with the big club this year. Matheson should be penciled in as a Panther regular come 2016-17.

Where We Voted for Matheson
Shane Todd JC Kevin Donny
6 13 5 14 7
Who We Voted 8th
Shane Todd JC Kevin Donny
Reilly Smith Reilly Smith Erik Gudbranson Alex Petrovic

Reilly Smith