By Rogerio Istiraneopulos of The Rat Trick
The Panthers are now in full development mode. Since the team is definitely not making the playoffs this year and due to injuries to players like Aleksander Barkov, Tomas Kopecky, Erik Gudbranson and Sean Bergenheim, the Cats have called up players from their AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage to give these players NHL experience to finish this year off. Hopefully the end result of this is fans having a great feeling about next year.
Truthfully, from the little sample that we have had so far, the future is looking bright. Brandon Pirri, who the Panthers traded for before the deadline, has three points (two goals and one assist) in his last two games. Quinton Howden played his first NHL game this season against the Lightning and scored his first NHL goal. Alex Petrovic got his first assist in that same game. But the most special one has clearly been Vincent Trocheck. Even though he has not registered a point yet in his first four NHL games, the 20-year-old has shown promising features as he is fast, has a great shot and is fearless. The 5-foot-10 centre is very exciting to watch and is making a case to be on this team next season.