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Panthers Prospects: Six make World Junior rosters



Panthers prospects
Michigan freshman Mackie Samoskevich is one of six Florida Panthers prospects who will be participating in the upcoming World Junior Championships. // Photo courtesy @usahockey

With the IIHF World Junior Championship set to begin on Dec. 26, the Florida Panthers have six of their prospects set to take part in the tournament.

Having representatives from Canada, America, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic all on rosters, Panthers fans have a lot to watch for later this month.

Most notably, 2020 third-round pick Justin Sourdif was named to Team Canada’s roster after a great start to his 2021-22 campaign.

With eight goals and 29 points in 21 games, Sourdif is tied for 20th in the WHL in points.

The Vancouver Giants captain leads his team in points as well.

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Team USA features two Florida prospects, 2021 first-round and 2020 third-round pick Ty Smilanic.

Smilanic has been one of the most prolific goal scorers in college hockey, registering eight goals and 13 points in 18 games, leading all goal scorers on No. 2 ranked Quinnipiac.

Samoskevich has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 19 games on a loaded Michigan team that is ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Wolverines teammates Owen Power (Canada), Matty Beniers (USA) and Luke Hughes (USA) were also named to World Junior rosters.

Elliot Ekmark, Florida’s 2020 seventh-round pick, will represent Team Sweden. He has two points (one goal, one assist) in 26 games with Linkoping HC of the SHL, Sweden’s top competition.

Jakob Kos will play for Czech Republic. A 2020 sixth-round pick of the Panthers, Kos has two assists in seven games for Ilves in Liiiga, Finland’s top league.

Also from Liiga, 2020 fifth-round pick Kasper Puutio will be playing for Team Finland. The 19-year-old defenseman has six points (three goals, three assists) in 27 games for KalPa.

Checkers Check-Up

Florida’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, split a weekend series with the Syracuse Crunch this past week.

On Friday, the Checkers were down 4-1 heading into the third period. A comeback attempt sparked by goals from Seattle prospect Kole Lind and Panthers 2018 first-round pick Grigori Denisenko brought Charlotte back within a goal.

A Syracuse empty netter sealed the game away, giving the Checkers a 5-3 loss.

During Saturday’s game, the Checkers held their annual Teddy Bear Toss, and the fans had plenty of reasons to have some fun.

The Checkers put up five goals, winning by the same score that they lost by on Friday.

A four-goal second period that featured a goal from Cole Schwindt and two assists from Aleksi Heponiemi propelled Charlotte to victory.

On Tuesday, the Checkers put up a franchise-record 11 goals in an 11-1 rout of the Rochester Americans.

Powered by a seven-goal second period in which Panthers prospects Chase Priskie, Max Gildon, Henry Bowlby and Denisenko all scored goals.

In total, Denisenko led the way with two goals and two assists, followed by Priskie, who had a goal and three assists.

Bowlby, Schwindt and Matt Kiersted all had two-point nights as well.

John Ludvig and Chris Gibson missed all three games due to injury.

Ludvig never returned to the lineup since being activated off of season-opening Injured Reserve and sent down to Charlotte on Nov. 12.

The Checkers will face off against the Americans again on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Games PlayedGoals Assists Points
C Justin Sourdif
(WHL, Vancouver Giants)
D Mike Benning
(NCAA, University of Denver)
C Aleksi Saarela
(NL, SCL Tigers)
C Mackie Samoskevich
(NCAA, University of Michigan)
D Carter Berger
(NCAA, University of Connecticut)
D Tyler Inamoto
(NCAA, University of Wisconsin)
C Owen Lindmark
(NCAA University of Wisconsin)
D Braden Hache
(OHL, Kingston Frontenacs)
D Cole Krygier
(NCAA, Michigan State University)
D Kasper Puutio
(Liiga, KalPa)
D Santtu Kinnunen
(Liiga, Tappara)
C Aleksi Heponiemi
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
LW Grigori Denisenko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
D Max Gildon
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
RW Serron Noel
(AHL Charlotte Checkers)
C Logan Hutsko
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
D Matt Kiersted
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
RW Cole Schwindt
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
C Henry Bowlby
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
C Ty Smilanic
(NCAA, Quinipiac)
D Evan Nause
(QMJHL, Quebec Remparts)
D John Ludvig
(AHL, Charlotte Checkers)
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