The Florida Panthers AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage will begin their Calder Cup playoff run on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Barons. There are a lot of young future Panthers players that will be experiencing their first taste of the postseason.
So who are the young prospects Florida fans should be keeping their eye on during the Calder Cup playoffs?
Defenseman- Alex Petrovic
Alex Petrovic was selected in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Level draft. He started in 33 games for the Panthers this season, recording just three points before being sent back down to San Antonio.
In 41 games for the Rampage this season, Petrovic racked up 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 41 games. He was also named to the 2015 AHL All-Star team.
Petrovic is a defenseman that can move the puck well while attacking forwards with his hitting style. There’s a good possibility Petrovic will be a mainstay on the Panthers roster in 2015-2016.
Forward- Quinton Howden
Quinton Howden missed 43 games this season due to an injury. When Howden did return to the Rampage, he was very effective. In 33 games, Howden recorded three goals and 15 assists.
Howden was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. From 2012-2014, The Manitoba native has played in 34 regular season games for the Panthers. Howden has recorded four goals and two assists in those games.
F- Rocco Grimaldi
Even though Rocco Grimaldi was drafted in the 2011 NHL Draft, he decided to attend the University of North Dakota for three seasons. On May 7, 2014, Grimaldi signed a three-year entry contract with the Panthers.
The 23-year-old played in 64 games for the Rampage this season. Grimaldi recorded 14 goals and 28 assists. He also played in seven games for the Panthers this season and Grimaldi even recorded his first NHL goal against the Nashville Predators.
F- Conner Brickley
Brickley was selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Level Draft. Instead of signing his entry level deal then, Brickley decided to play a few seasons at the University of Vermont.
In his first full season in the AHL in 2014-2015, Conner Brickley finished with 22 goals and 25 assists in 73 games. The 23-year-old finished second on the Rampage in points and third in assists. Overall, Brickley finished six in points among all AHL rookies.
Brickley is a forward that not only is skilled offensively, but he also provides effort on the defensive end. Brickley has all the skills to be a star at the NHL level. If his last name sounds familiar, his cousin Andy Brickley played 14 seasons in the NHL.