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Florida Panthers Prospects: Justin Sourdif traded to Edmonton Oil Kings

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Justin Sourdif, one of the Florida Panthers top prospects, has a new junior team as the Vancouver Giants traded him to the Edmonton Oil Kings in a WHL blockbuster. // Photo courtesy @WHLGiants

One of the Florida Panthers top prospects will be playing for a different junior team.

After serving as captain of the Vancouver Giants, Justin Sourdif was traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings at the WHL trade deadline on Monday.

Sourdif was a third-round pick by the Panthers in 2020 who signed his entry level contract with the team after a strong showing at rookie camp this past summer.

“I loved our team. I loved the group that we had. It’s tough to leave them,” Sourdif told The Vancouver Province. “I’m also looking forward to another opportunity with Edmonton.”

Sourdif, who led the Giants in points with 32 (nine goals, 23 assists) in 24 games, said he saw a deal coming as Vancouver fell out of playoff contention, dropping to a 15-17-2 record at the time of the trade.

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The team saw the deadline as a last-ditch effort to get assets for their older players, like Sourdif, before they entered the professional ranks.

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“I really had a feeling after the weekend,” Sourdif said, following two losses to the Prince George Cougars put the team below .500. “I wish them nothing but the best.”

The Giants did get a haul for Sourdif, which shows just how good he had been this season.

In the trade, the Giants received two first-round draft picks (one in 2022 and another in 2025) and 19-year-old left winger Jacob Boucher from the Oil Kings.

Sourdif made his Edmonton debut on Tuesday, notching an assist in a 4-1 win over the Prince Albert Raiders.

Checkers Check-Up

The Charlotte Checkers went 2-1-0 this past week, including an 8-3 romping of the Texas Stars on Jan. 15, fuelled by a Serron Noel hat trick.

“We’re a team that needs everyone to contribute,” Checkers coach Geordie Kinnear said following the game. “Serron stepped up in Hartford physically last game and then tonight he obviously contributed three goals. We’re built on that depth scoring and it was nice for Serron to get some confidence, get on the board, and be rewarded for some work.”

Charlotte started the week with a 2-1 overtime win over the Hartford Wolfpack, with both goals being scored by Panthers 2018 first-round draft pick Grigori Denisenko.

Denisenko missed the team’s next three games due to injury according to team public relations.

The team did get some reinforcements from Sunrise, as Aleksi Heponiemi and Owen Tippett were sent to the AHL by the Panthers to get some games in with the Checkers.

The pair combined for nine points in the two games they played in, with Tippett recording five assists and Heponiemi recording four points (one goal, three assists) before they were both called back up to the NHL squad on Monday.

“It took a little bit of time to find some chemistry. I moved the lines around to try to find it because we have some bodies come down,” Kinnear said.

“Heponiemi had a really [good] game and Tippett does what he does by getting points, but I thought it was a whole team effort. Everyone contributed tonight and that’s what we’re built on.”

Tippett was struggling to get points at the NHL level, recording just one assist in his last 15 games, including an 11-game point drought that spanned from his last goal on Nov. 20 to an assist he registered on New Year’s Day.

The Checkers finished the weekend with a back-and-forth 6-5 loss to the Stars on Jan. 16, where Heponiemi shined with a goal and two assists.

They dropped their second game in a row on Tuesday, losing 4-2 to the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Charlotte led 2-1 in the third period after a goal from Henry Bowlby 1:41 in, but the Thunderbirds answered with three unanswered goals to take the win.

Florida Panthers Prospect News

  • Ty Smilanic returned from the lower-body injury he suffered during the short-lived IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring two goals and an assist in his return to the Quinnipiac lineup on Jan. 14 against Harvard.
  • John Ludvig and Chris Gibson continue to be out of the Checkers’ lineup with injuries. With Gibson injured, the Panthers signed Greenville Swamprabbits goalie Evan Fitzpatrick to an entry-level contract and added him to their taxi squad.
  • Florida’s 2021 first-round pick, Mackie Samoskevich recorded two assists in Michigan’s two-game sweep over Penn State, registering an assist in each game.
 Games PlayedGoals Assists Points
D Cole Krygier
(NCAA, Michigan State University)
2101
C Logan Hutsko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
3022
D Matt Kiersted
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
3000
D Chase Priskie
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
4134
C Justin Sourdif
(WHL, Edmonton Oil Kings)
3112
D Mike Benning
(NCAA, University of Denver)
2000
C Aleksi Saarela
(NL, SCL Tigers)
4000
C Mackie Samoskevich
(NCAA, University of Michigan)
2022
D Carter Berger
(NCAA, University of Connecticut)
2000
D Tyler Inamoto
(NCAA, University of Wisconsin)
2011
C Owen Lindmark
(NCAA University of Wisconsin)
0000
D Braden Hache
(OHL, Kingston Frontenacs)
2000
D Kasper Puutio
(Liiga, KalPa)
2000
D Santtu Kinnunen
(Liiga, Tappara)
3101
C Aleksi Heponiemi
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
2134
LW Grigori Denisenko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
1202
D Max Gildon
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
0000
RW Serron Noel
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
4303
RW Cole Schwindt
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
4011
C Henry Bowlby
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
4123
C Ty Smilanic
(NCAA, Quinipiac)
2213
D Evan Nause
(QMJHL, Quebec Remparts)
0000
D John Ludvig
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
0000
LW Jakub Kos
(Liiga, Ilves)
2000
C Elliot Ekmark
(SHL, Linkoping HC)
2000

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