02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

8

Final

BUF:

2

FLA:

3

Final

ARI:

2

MTL:

4

Final

TBL:

2

PHI:

6

Final

VGK:

6

TOR:

2

Final

CAR:

3

MIN:

2

Final

OTT:

1

NSH:

4

Final

STL:

2

WPG:

4

Final

LAK:

2

CGY:

4

Final

DAL:

1

COL:

5

Final

PIT:

4

VAN:

3

Final

NJD:

7

SJS:

2

Final

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

Florida Panthers Bolster Prospect Pipeline at 2023 NHL Draft

The 2023 NHL Draft took place in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday and Thursday, ushering in the NHL’s next generation of talent. After trading their first-round pick last year to bring defensemen Ben Chiarot over from the Detroit Red Wings, the Panthers went without drafting anyone in the first round. In fact, the team is not expected to pick in the first round until 2026. The Panthers did, however, have five picks to work with in rounds two through seven. Bringing in talent and adding depth to the prospect pipeline was critical for the Panthers, who put on one heck of a run to the Stanley Cup Finals earlier in the month. The cats’ draft began in round two with pick number 63; they also had one pick each in rounds four (127th), five (159th), six (191st), and seven (198th). Let’s take a look at the talent the cardiac cats brought home from Nashville.

R2, 63RD Overall – Gracyn Sawchyn – Center – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Seattle Thunderbirds forward and Florida Panthers prospect Gracyn Sawchyn. Credit: Ben Liesse

With their first pick in the draft, the Panthers selected centerman Gracyn Sawchyn of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Originally from Grand Prairie, Alberta, Sawchyn is listed at 5’11” and 155 pounds. Playing for the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds last season, Sawchyn scored at a point-per-game pace picking up 58 points (18g, 40a) in 58 games, ranking second among WHL rookies in scoring. He contributed to the Thunderbirds taking home the WHL championship, posting 11 points in 17 playoff appearances. Ranked number 24 amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, one of Sawchyn’s only drawbacks is his size. The forward gets high praise for his vision and playmaking ability, as he is a player always looking to create space and chances on the ice.

R4, 127TH Overall – Albert Wikman – Defenseman – Färjestad BK (SHL)

Defenseman Albert Wikman. Credit: Dan Hickling

A left-handed defenseman, Albert Wikman is a 6’0” 191 pound physically sound presence on the blueline. Hailing from Karlstad, Sweden, the 18-year-old d-man saw playing time in the SHL and on the international stage last season. His stats sheet numbers may leave more to be desired, but the young Swede clocks in as the 32nd-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting. Wikman’s play is largely defined by his ability to win battles and use his size to create turnovers. He is a disruptive defender who can clog passing and shooting lanes and interrupt opposing teams’ transition play. His speed is also a factor, as Wikman has the ability to close gaps with quickness.

R5, 159TH Overall – Olof Glifford – Goaltender – HV71 (SHL)

Goaltender Olof Glifford. Credit: Twitter/HV71

Standing at 6’4” and weighing 198 pounds, Olof Glifford is a goaltender with size. The second Swede to be picked up by the Panthers in the 2023 draft, Glifford also spent time competing in the SHL and on the international level last season. Playing for Swedish club HV71, Glifford went 3-0 in J20 play and boasted a 1.65 goals against average and a .949 save percentage. At the J18 level, Glifford went 6-5-0, carrying a 2.56 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Catching pucks with his left hand and playing a butterfly-style game, Olof Glifford brings size and athleticism to the crease.

R6, 191ST Overall – Luke Coughlin – Defenseman – Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Rimouski defenseman Luke Coughlin. Credit: Rimouski Oceanic/QMJHL

With their second-to-last pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Panthers selected 18-year-old defenseman Luke Coughlin of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic. At 5’10” and 172 pounds, Coughlin may not be the biggest blueline pick up at the draft. A left-handed shot d-man, Coughlin was ranked anywhere from the 80s to the 200s in pre-draft scouting reports. He registered 19 points in Rimouski’s previous season, collecting five goals and 14 assists through 35 games. In Rimouski’s 2021-2022 campaign, the defensman put up 18 points (4g,14a) in 55 games played. A smooth skater, Coughlin has the ability to give teams the “shake and bake” at the blueline, using crisp edgework and deceptive skating tactics to help control the game.

R7 198TH Overall – Stepan Zvyagin – Left Wing – HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL)

Dinamo Minsk forward Stepan Zvyagin. Credit: Dinamo Minsk/KHL

Wrapping things up, the Panthers took Russian forward Stepan Zvyagin with the 198th overall pick in the seventh round. Zvyagin is listed as 6’0”, weighs in at 154 pounds, and was ranked #75 amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. The 19-year-old forward only scored one goal in the 15 games he played with the Dinamo’s KHL club but lit things up at the junior level. Through 37 games played, Zvyagin picked up 14 goals and 19 assists for a 33-point season. It is important to note that Zvyagin has multiple years remaining on his contract with the KHL over in Russia, and it could be some time in the future before he finally joins the team.

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is a freelance hockey reporter covering the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen for Inside The Rink and the Vancouver Canucks for The Canuck Way. His work has been featured on Hockey of Tomorrow and The Daily Faceoff, and can be found on Twitter/X @FromTheDrewLine.

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