It’s been a big week for Panthers prospects… Jayce Hawryluk played the overtime hero in the WHL finals, Michael Matheson continues to make a name for himself at the World Championship and Dryden Hunt was named WHL Player of the Year. Meanwhile, the Cats bolstered their future in goal with the signing of Samuel Montembeault and added to their depth on the blue line with Swedish Hockey League star defenseman Linus Hultström.
HAWRYLUK THE HERO
Game two of the Western Hockey League Finals between the Brandon Wheat Kings and Seattle Thunderbirds wrapped things up in overtime. Jayce Hawryluk scored the game-winner, absorbing a hit in the corner and putting the puck towards the net. The shot trickled past Seattle’s goaltender Landon Bow, putting the Wheat Kings ahead 2-0 in the series.
Along with his game-winning goal, Hawryluk notched an assist on the game-tying goal in the third period. The 20-year old forward earned first star of the game honors. The 5-foot-10, 194-pound native of Roblin, Manitoba enters game three on a four-game point streak (1-7-8) and has recorded 23 points (3-20-23) in 18 postseason games.
Hawryluk and the Wheat Kings take on the Thunderbirds in game three tonight in Seattle at 10:05 p.m. (ET).
Michael Matheson starred for Team Canada in its 7-1 victory over Hungary on Sunday. The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native recorded a goal and two assists. The 22-year old Matheson is the only skater on Team Canada to have played in the AHL last season.
Matheson struck again on Monday vs. Belarus with a power-play tally to make the final score 8-0 in favor of Canada. In three games, Matheson has recorded four points (2-2-4) and a plus-8 rating.
HUNT NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
After a stellar 2015-16 campaign for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL that included a league-leading 58 goals and a second-ranked 116 points, Dryden Hunt was awarded the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy for Player of the Year. The 20-year old native of Nelson, British Columbia was the first ever Warriors player to win the MVP award.
2015 third round pick, Samuel Montembeault signed with the Florida Panthers today. The 19-year old was solid in goal for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada this season and was the Vaughn Canadian Hockey League Goaltender of the Week for the week ending April 3. In the week Montembeault earned a 3-1 record, 2.27 goals against average and .933 save percentage during Blainville’s first round playoff series vs. Val-d’Or. Over that four-game span, Montembeault made 152 saves and led his team to a win in the series, a massive upset as the Armada were ranked as the 13th seed and the Foreurs entered as the fourth seed.
Montembeault went on to earn a shutout in game one of the second round vs. top-seeded Rouyn-Noranda, but the Armada were unable to defeat the Huskies in the series.
LINUS IN THE SAND
Last week, Swedish defenseman Linus Hultström signed with Florida. The 23-year old native of Vimmerby, Sweden spent the 2015-16 season with Djurgardens IF, recording 31 points (12-19-31) tying him for first among all SHL defensemen in points as he also led all defensemen in goals. Hultström also boasted a plus-17 rating. In the postseason, Hultström led his team in scoring with 12 points (3-9-12) in eight games.
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