Florida Panthers 2018-19 season preview

            After missing the playoffs by one point in 2017-18, the Florida Panthers seek revenge in 2018-19. Knowing they have a good team, the Panthers didn\’t lose any key pieces, and acquired another top-6 winger in Mike Hoffman. Before we look into the roster, let\’s look at some fast facts for the Florida Panthers.

Head Coach: Bob Boughner
General Manager: Dale Tallon
Arena: BB&T Center
AHL Affiliate: Springfield Thunderbirds
2017-18 record: 44-30-8 (96 points)
2017-18 placement: 4th
Division: Atlantic
2017-18 goals leader: Vincent Trocheck (31)
2017-18 assists leader: Aleksander Barkov (51)
2017-18 points leader: Aleksander Barkov (78)
2017-18 points leader (defensman): Keith Yandle (56)
Captain: Derek MacKenzie
Assistant Captains: Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Keith Yandle
2018 first round pick: Grigori Denisenko

Offseason additions: Mike Hoffman, Troy Brouwer, Michael Hutchinson, Mark Letestu.

Offseason subtractions: Radim Vrbata, Harri Sateri, Connor Brickley.

Forwards: Aleksander Barkov was a point away from a point for game last year, cementing himself as a top-10 center in the league, at just 23. Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad return, both of whom have had injury issues in the past, before playing in their first 82 game season ever. Henrik Borgstrom will debut, as the third line center. Derek MacKenzie will be the only captain in the league to be a healthy scratch. There is a lot of potential in this team, as they might have the best forward depth in the league. Denis Malgin and Jared McCann especially. It\’s a fun group to watch.

Forward lines:

Jonathan Huberdeau – Aleksander Barkov – Nick Bjugstad
Mike Hoffman – Vincent Trocheck – Evgenii Dadonov
Frank Vatrano – Henrik Borgstrom – Denis Malgin
Jamie McGinn – Jared McCann – Colton Sceviour
Other: Troy Brouwer, Derek MacKenzie, Maxim Mamim.

Defenseman: Keith Yandle\’s 56 points were very surprising, as he might have overtaken Aaron Ekblad as the top D on the team. Michael Matheson and Mark Pysyk are solid middle pair guys. They are relying on MacKenzie Weegar and Ian McCoshen to play bottom pair.

Defensive pairs:

Keith Yandle – Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson – Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar – Ian McCoshen
Other: Alex Petrovic

Goalies: Roberto Luongo is 39, and may not be able to play at a high level for much longer. James Reimer is a good backup, and was a starter in Toronto.

Goalie alignment:

Roberto Luongo
James Reimer
Other: Michael Hutchinson


Top five scorers:

Alexsander Barkov
Vincent Trocheck
Jonathan Huberdeau
Mike Hoffman
Nick Bjugstad

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 4th

I think the Panthers will be eliminated in the first round.

Published by carterhud

Carterhud.com. SI Kids Kid Reporter, Prime Time Sports Talk writer

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