The Florida Panthers have such a wide span of young prospects in the AHL and the NHL. A few names will always come to mind when you talk about top Panther prospects like Erick Gudbranson, Jacob Markstrom and Jonathan Huberdeau, but a prospect that I think is not talked about enough is Evgeny Dadonov. The russian forward has played in the RSL, KHL and the AHL and now the NHL. While playing in the RSL Dadonov put up twenty-two points in his two seasons in the RSL, soon he was selected 71st overall by the Panthers in 2007. After being drafted by the Panthers, Dadonov went to play in the KHL for a season and put up a total of fifteen points. The next season Dadonov would go on to play in the AHL where he had what may just be his best season. Putting up forty points and seventeen goals during that season, he was also called up by the Panthers where he played four games and had a total of zero points. Then, in the most recent AHL/NHL season Dadonov played twenty four games in the AHL with the Americans putting up a total of sixteen points but, then Dadonov was called up to the NHL to play with the Panthers. In thirty six games Dadonov put up a total of seventeen points, not half bad if you ask me, he could have reached up to forty points if he had played the entire season.
I think that with the additions of Versteeg and D men like Campell and Jovanovski, Dadonov may be able to increase his point total if he is to play in the NHL this season. What do I think Dadonov can bring to the Panthers this upcoming season? He can provide offensive support for the third and fourth lines. I think it will be good for him to learn from players like Cup Champion Kris Versteeg and Thomas Kopecky, as well as, Stephen Weiss and David Booth who have both posted sixty plus points at some point in their career. Dadonov no doubt has a great learning environment if he is going to become a top offensive player on the Panthers. Take for example the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks, they had a group of very young forwards like Kris Versteeg that are all doing very well in the NHL today and that is kind of what Tallon has going once again, except here in Florida building a group of young forwards that can learn from each other and win hockey games. Dadonov is one of those young forwards that I think can become a top forward on the Panthers if he can learn from the other forwards. Like I said, he has a great learning environment.
When you compare Dadonov with the Panthers most recent third overall draft selection Jonathan Huberdeau, and then you look at the Weiss Booth combo, maybe we could have a second young combo of Dadonov Huberdeau. I must say that it will be interesting to watch them play in the NHL together this year. If they do, it’s still the question of, will Dadonov go back to the AHL or will Huberdeau go back to his junior team? I think that if the Panthers are to make a playoff push they will need the help of Dadonov and Huberdeau support for the third or fourth lines, which in my opinion, are not that strong at the moment. You can not just have one or two good lines, Hockey is a team sport where everyone matters from lines 1-4 and I think, that if we do place Huberdeau and Dadonov in the NHL this upcoming season our playoff chances will be much better.
Tags: 63 AHL Chicago Blackhawks David Booth Ed Jovanovski Erick Gudbranson Evgeny Dadonov Florida Panthers Forwards Jonathan Huberdeau KHL Kris Versteeg More Nhl Prospects Rochester Americans RSL Russian Stephen Weiss Thomas Kopecky