6. Max Gildon
The only defenseman appearing on this list is Max Gildon, who the Panthers took with the 66th overall selection at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year-old was drafted after a 26-game season with the U.S. National Under-18 Team in the USHL where he posted 14 points. He has since spent the last three seasons playing for the University of New Hampshire, where his offense has come to life.
This past season was the best of Gildon’s college career, as he had seven goals and 29 points in 34 games played. Both his 22 assists and 29 points led his team, while his seven goals were the most by a defenseman. The Panthers were able to sign him to an entry-level contract last March, meaning he will make his professional debut this season.
5. Logan Hutsko
The second straight college player on this list is forward Logan Hutsko. Like Max Gildon, Hutsko was also taken in the Third-Round, though at the 2018 Draft and slightly lower at 89th overall. He had just finished up his freshman season with Boston College at the time of being drafted, where he posted a very impressive 12 goals and team leading 31 points in 37 games. His small frame of five-foot-ten, 165 pounds is likely what held him back from being a much higher pick.
Last season, his third with Boston College, saw him put up a team leading 19 goals, along with 33 points in 30 contests. He elected to return to college hockey for his fourth and final season, and is off to another impressive start with nine points in six games. Panthers management will need to work hard to get Logan Hutsko signed to an entry-level deal before he is set to become a free agent.