Things are get gloomier and gloomier in Florida, as the Panthers are currently fighting hard for a playoff spot. The Columbus Blue Jackets hold the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, sitting three points above the New Jersey Devils and six ahead of the Panthers. The Pittsburgh Penguins are still in contention, but need to keep pushing, as only two of these four teams will make it to the postseason.
If the Panthers cannot be in the playoff circle, it will be a hard pill to swallow. Just like the latest news will be. According to The Athletic's Craig Custance, they have now lost one of their promising prospect for next season.
Here is what Custance has reported in his latest article of The Athletic:
"According to an NHL source, the Florida Panthers have been told that prospect Adam Mascherin won't be signing with them before the draft. If that remains the case, he would re-enter the draft where he would be an interesting prospect coming off a big season in Kitchener. He has 40 goals this season in 67 games. Mascherin was the Panthers second-round pick (No. 38 overall) in 2016 and GM Dale Tallon is now shopping him to try and get a return before the draft."
You read right: Adam Mascherin has 40 goals this season. And that's not all. The 19-year-old winger managed to tally these 40 goals after two straight 35-goal seasons. He’s consistent!
However, controversy started to brew as the forward did not heard from the Panthers all summer long last year, which was more that shocking since the organization often lacks game breaking scoring wingers, and the 19-year-old appears like he can address a dire need in Florida. It however seems like he will be able to fill that void elsewhere.
Trade chatter hints at Tallon trying to move him, but since he is eligible to re-enter the NHL entry draft, some teams in need of an offensive threat on the wing, may gamble and wait and see at the draft itself.
The Calgary Flames could attempt to address their need for another scoring forward in the offseason, despite a massive hurdle in their way. The Flames have already dealt away their first and second round picks in the 2018 draft, as well as their second and third round selections in 2019. When they landed defenseman Travis Hamonic last summer, they had to let go of their first round pick in the trade.
The Flames then gambled on veteran forward Jaromir Jagr, and we all know all this turned out. At the end of January, Jagr, who signed a one-year contract with the Flames on Oct. 4, was placed on waivers and never claimed. He has just one goal and six assists in 22 games and moved back to Czech Republic to play with Kladno.
Now the Flames need to focus on a new plan to acquire a scoring forward and could be able to sign Mascherin in the summer or gamble - once again - and grab him at the draft before anyone else does!