The Florida Panthers have had many young players emerging this season who have helped to make a big impact in the Panthers 2011 campaign, and there is no reason why this shouldn’t continue in 2012. One young player who is finally reaching a level that many predicted, but has been a bit under the radar is center Shawn Matthias.
Matthias played in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls in 2004-2005. Shawn played in 37 games and recorded a total of 2 points. During Shawn’s 2005-2006 season with the Bulls, he put up a total of 34 points in 67 games played. In 2006, Shawn was drafted 47th overall by the Detroit Red Wings which later sent him back to the OHL as he was not yet eligible to play in the AHL. During the 2006 season, Shawn would also play for the Canadian world juniors team in which he would record 1 point in 7 games played. In Matthias’s 3rd season with Belleville and during the 2006-2007, he played in 64 games and recorded 73 points by season end. On February 27, 2007 Shawn would ultimately be traded to the Panthers for Todd Bertuzzi.
Matthias would soon be able to make his NHL debut after starting the 2007-2008 season with the Bulls in 53 games and putting up 79 points, Shawn would then be called up by Florida to finish the 2007-2008 season. To begin the 2008-2009, Matthias would play with the Panthers in a total of 16 games and putting up a total of 2 points before being sent down to the AHL to play with the Rochester Americans where he would play in a total of 61 games and with a total of 20 points. Shawn would once again play for the Canadian world juniors team in 2008 were he achieved 4 points in 7 games played. Matthias won the gold with Canadian junior teams both times he played with them in 2006 and 2008. For the majority of the 2009-2010 season, Shawn would play with the Panthers putting up 16 points in 55 games played, but Matthias would then return to the AHL to play with the Americans where he would put up 13 points in 27 games. Shawn has not played in the AHL since the 2009-2010 season. Matthias went on to play in 51 games with the Florida in the 2010-2011 season putting up a total of 16 points.
The Panthers were looking for Shawn to add depth on the roster this season, but Shawn has obviously taken those expectations and parlayed them into a more significant role. Could it be time for Matthias to have his breakout season? Shawn is about to set career high records with Florida for games played, goals with 7 and assists with 8 for a total of 15 points. Shawn has indeed brought the much needed depth on the Panthers roster this season, and it has been fun to watch him emerge as an offensive threat. He has pleasantly surprised me and surely when one talks about young stars emerging on this Florida roster, Shawn Matthias‘ name must be mentioned!
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