The Florida Panthers entered the World Juniors with five prospects in the running for the gold medal — and all five of them remain following the preliminary round.
Mackie Samoskevich (USA), Kasper Puutio (Finland), Jakub Kos (Czechia), Ludvig Jansson (Sweden), and Sandis Vilmanis (Latvia) will all be competing in the quarterfinal of the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Puutio has been the standout performer of the bunch, finishing up the group stage with three goals and five points.
He ranks fifth among defensemen in points and is tied for the lead in goals from defensemen.
The 2020 fifth-round pick started the tournament strong with goals in his first two games.
Finland finished the group stage as the fourth seed and will play No. 5 Germany on Wednesday at noon.
Vilmanis helped make history, helping Latvia win its first-ever preliminary round game at the World Juniors — a 5-2 win over Czechia on Sunday.
The win helped Latvia escape elimination after coming into the day one point behind Slovakia, who they lost to in a shootout.
The 2022 fifth-round pick did not register a point in four group stage games.
Vilmanis will face off against fellow 2022 draft pick Jansson and Sweden in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Jansson also did not register a point during the preliminary round for third-seed Sweden.
Samoskevich and Kos’ respective nations will also face off with each other on Wednesday night.
No. 2 seed United States went undefeated throughout its group stage slate.
Samoskevich chipped in with three assists in four games for a loaded United States squad.
Kos has an assist in four games for No. 7 seed Czechia.
That matchup can be watched on NHL Network at 10:30 p.m.
At least two Panthers prospects will be moving on to the semifinals, which will be played on August 19.