Panthers Send Thirteen Down

Yonkman won't be sneaking onto the Panthers' roster this year. Photo: Christian Peterson/Getty Images

The Panthers have made some more roster moves this morning, sending down thirteen players to the San Antonio Rampage.  This effectively reduces the current Panthers’ roster to thirty-two players: 19 forwards, 9 defensemen, and four goalies.

The complete list of players sent down is below:

F Mark Cullen

D Roman Derlyuk

F Angelo Esposito

F Jonathan Hazen

F Bracken Kearns

F Anthony Luciani

D Evan Oberg

F Greg Rallo

D Keith Seabrook

F Eric Selleck

D Tyson Strachan

F Scott Timmins

D Nolan Yonkman

The one players that stands out is Yonkman, who was hoping to pound his way onto the Panthers roster with his big size and checking ability.  His audition in the first couple preseason games was not terrible, but he couldn’t prove himself to be a solid, consistent defenseman to either Coach Kevin Dineen or management.  Based on what I say in Monday night’s game, I thought that Yonkman could use his size well and had defensive ability, but he had no offensive upside to provide on a roster that has committed itself to offensive depth.

A player like Keaton Ellerby could take that kind of sixth defenseman role, and so could Mike Weaver.  Neither can hit like Yonkman, but Ellerby has better offensive skills and Weaver is a defensive stalwart.  Both have better discipline on the ice than Yonkman, as well.

So, Yonkman will have to bide his time in AHL and will most likely get a few games this year in case of injuries on the Panthers’ roster.  I also believe that F Eric Selleck endeared himself to the fans with his gritty performance in Monday night’s game.  By the end of the night he had his own cheering section after he scored a goal and fought, leaving him an assist short of the Gordie Howe hat trick.  That kind of performance in preseason will not go unnoticed by Dale Tallon, so expect Selleck at some point to call him up.  There was simply no room for him this year on the prospective NHL roster, and he was a little too raw to start, but he’ll find his way up somehow.

Overall, not too many surprises, but the sixth defenseman spot’s competition is minus one player, so expect bigger competition in that spot.

By the way, Panther fans, be sure to go to the game tonight against the Lightning!  We need fan support!

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