ESPN.com has ranked five Florida Panthers in its annual Top 100 prospects list. The list was released on Tuesday morning and was written by prospect and hockey analyst Corey Pronman.
Aaron Ekblad, Florida’s first overall pick from June’s NHL Draft, was listed as the top prospect from the 2014 draft class, the top defensive prospect, and the second ranked prospect overall.
Pronman noted the following about Ekblad:
"He's an elite physical specimen and has fantastic hockey IQ, a big slap shot and good skating and puck-moving ability.
Center Vincent Trocheck, who gained some NHL experience with the Panthers in the latter half of the 2013-14 season, was ranked 49th by Pronman. Pronman had this to say about the 2012-13 AHL MVP:
“Trocheck had a very successful first pro season, scoring a lot in the OHL (42 points in 55 games) and doing fine in the NHL while faced up against good players on a nightly basis. Trocheck plays hard and has really become an all-around player.”
2012 Panthers first round pick and Boston College defenseman Mike Matheson came in at #63, with Pronman calling him “one of the top defensemen in college hockey in 2013-14.”
Center Rocco Grimaldi, a “high-end skater, puck handler and finisher who plays with an edge you need” was ranked 76th, appearing on the Top 100 list for a second straight year.
Making his first appearance on the list, Matheson’s Boston College teammate Ian McCoshen, a 2013 selection of the club, was ranked 96th. Said Pronman: “He's just such a cool customer with the puck, and possesses a nice mobility-skill combo.”
The full list (subscription required) is available here.