Florida Panthers: Top 8 prospects worth getting excited about

Spencer Knight #30 of the United States. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Spencer Knight #30 of the United States. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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Owen Tippett (47)
Owen Tippett #47 of the Saginaw Spirit. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

2. Owen Tippett

Given that he played his first (and only) seven NHL games back in the 2017-18 season, it is sometimes hard to remember that Owen Tippett is just 21-years-old. The Canadian forward was taken 10th overall by the Panthers at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft after a 44 goal, 75-point season with the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL. That very next season, Tippett played in seven games with the Panthers before being sent back to the OHL, where he went on to spend two more years.

This past season saw Tippett suit up as a rookie for the Springfield Thunderbirds, where he posted 19 goals and 40 points in just 46 games, both of which led his team. Given how successful his first professional season was, it feels like a near guarantee that he makes the Panthers out of Training Camp this year. Considering his skill, it is possible he could be a contender for the Calder Trophy, depending on what type of role he is used in during the 2020-21 NHL season.

Spencer Knight (30)
Spencer Knight #30 of the United States. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

1. Spencer Knight

This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Panthers top prospect is goaltender Spencer Knight. Knight, 19, is not only the best prospect in the Panthers organization, but one of the best in the entire NHL. He played as a freshman for Boston College during the 2019-20 season and had an incredible year, posting a 1.97 Goals Against Average (GAA) along with a .931 Save Percentage (SV%) and a 23-8-2 record.

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Knight has represented Team USA at the past three World Juniors, including the most recent where he shutout Team Canada to lead his team to a Gold Medal. He finished this year’s tournament off with a 1.63 GAA and a .940 SV% in six games.

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While it takes goaltenders longer than players to develop, it looks right now like he could be ready to play in the NHL in just a few seasons. The Sergei Bobrovsky contract certainly complicates things from that perspective but, regardless the Florida Panthers have an absolute stud on their hands as Spencer Knight has the potential to become one of if not the best goalies in the NHL.