Get to know Panthers' Day 2 selections in the NHL draft

Get to know Panthers' Day 2 selections in the NHL draft

Aleksi Heponiemi

Round; No.:Second; 40th overall

Age:18

Experience:Swift Current Broncos of WHL

Height:5-10 Weight:150

Key stats:Earned the Jim Piggott Rookie of the Year trophy in the WHL after scoring 28 goals and 76 points in 72 games. In 2015-16, he was named first forward and first All-Star while playing for the under-18 team (Ilves) in Finland after notching 25 goals and 65 points in 39 games. Added 2 goals and 4 points in six playoff games. He represented Finland at the 2015 World under-17 Hockey Challenge and tallied 5 assists in five games for his national team at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.

Comment:Ranked 26th among North America skaters by the Central Scouting bureau. His older brother played with Panthers center Aleksander Barkov in juniors and is a close family friend. Like Barkov, Heponiemi is too unselfish at times and needs to be more aggressive offensively rather than pass. He knows he must bulk up to play with the big boys. Draftsite.com called Heponiemi a “smart undersized centre-forward with figure skater-like control in his dashes and darts. A wizard with the puck.”

Max Gildon

Round; No.:Third; 66th

Age:18

Experience: U.S. under-18 team in the USHL

Height:6-3; Weight:191

Key stats:Houston native scored 11 goals and 33 points in 63 games for the U.S., and added 5 goals and 14 points in USHL games. Scored a goal and had 19 points for the Dallas Stars under-16 team in 2015-16. He led all defensemen with 4 goals and 6 points in seven games to earn All-Star honors while winning a gold medal with the U.S. under-18 squad in the World Championship.

Comment:Left-handed shooting defenseman was ranked 54th among North Amercian skaters by the Central Scouting bureau. He will attend the University of New Hampshire next year. Sometimes compared to Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman. Future Considerations called Gildon is “a two-way defender in the Ryan McDonagh mold; this big wing-spanned blueliner is just scratching the surface of his ability. [He] can contribute at both ends of the ice; a steadying presence in his own zone, strong and physical, not afraid to flex his muscle and willing to play it nasty if required.”

Tyler Inamoto

Round; No.: Fifth; 133rd

Age: 18

Experience: Team USA-under 18 in USHL

Height: 6-4; Weight:192

Key stats:Rugged left-handed shooting defensive defenseman who amassed 147 penalty minutes in 59 combined games with the U.S. under-18 team in national and USHL competition. He scored a goal and 14 points in 42 international games; and 2 goals with 7 points in 17 games in the USHL.

Comment:Ranked 68th among North American skaters by Central Scouting, the Illinois native’s very mobile and while his physical game is NHL-ready, he needs to develop more offensive skills while attending the University of Wisconsin. “He’s a big, mobile kid,” USA-under 18 coach John Wroblewski told the Wisconsin State Journal. “He plays an extremely physical style. He really likes the rough going. His all-around skill set will be something that a lot of NHL teams desire to have on their blue line.”

Sebastian Repo

Round; No.:Sixth; 184

Age: 21

Experience: Tappara of Finnish Liiga

Height: 6-2; Weight:190

Key stats:He scored 11 goals and 32 points in 46 games for Tappara, along with a plus-16 and 78 penalty minutes. He added 6 goals and 7 points in 18 playoff games. Repo did spend some time in the United States, playing for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL in the 2014-15 season where he had 6 goals and 15 points in 25 games.

Comment:Played for Aleksander Barkov’s hometown team in Tampere so he’s had plenty of experience playing with men. Had a taste of North American hockey in 2014, but returned to Finland to play for the Pelicans and under-20 national team the next few seasons. The Lahti native played with recent Panthers signee Finnish forward Henrik Haapala last season. “We've tracked him for a number of years as he developed. … He's pro-ready [for the AHL],” said Jason Bukala, Panthers director of amateur scouting.

[email protected]; On Twitter @hfialkov

Source : http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/fl-sp-panthers-draft-bio-boxes-20170624-story.html

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