The Florida Panthers went out and signed Henrik Haapala and Maxim Mamin to entry-level contracts. Both Players are from Europe (Finland and Russia respectively).
Today was definitely a busy day, especially for Dale Tallon. Dale signed Henrik and Maxim to ensure that we have more depth upfront. While both players will likely not step into the league next year, it’s certain that they are for the future. These two signings will definitely add to our prospect pool.
Starting with Henrik, Haapala recently played with Tappara Tampere in the Finnish Elite League. Last season, he put up 15G, 45A, and 60 points in 51 games played. Certainly a point per game player. Judging from his stats, it’s clear that Henrik is more of a playmaker then he is a goal scorer. At just 5’8 (according to Hockey DB), Haapala plays a nice two-way game in which he uses his speed, awareness, and skill to beat players to the puck.
Despite his lack of size, it’s clear that it doesn’t bother Henrik. What he lacks in size he makes up for with speed and skill. As some or if not all remember, Aleksander Barkov was a member of Tappara during his days in Europe. The two go back, as they were each others line mates.
Having a native friend can always help a player adjust into a new team and I’m sure that Barkov will be there for Henrik. While Haapala will most likely not make the team right out of camp, he is one to lookout for in the nearby future. Expect to hear more of his name.
The second signing that happened today was forward Maxim Mamin from the KHL. Maxim was drafted by the Panthers in the 6th round of the 2016 NHL Draft. This past season, Mamin played with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. In 42 games played, he put up 12G, 13A, and 25P all together. While the stats aren’t mesmerizing by any means, they are still decent numbers put up by the 22-year-old.
The Moscow native is still young with a bright future ahead of him. It’s also unlikely that Maxim will make the team right out of camp. Expect him to spend another year back in the KHL to further develop himself.
While today was a good day in terms of adding depth towards our forward group, it’s important that we continue to draft well even in the later rounds of the draft. You never know who you can find abroad or deep in the draft, so keeping a close eye on scouting/player development is key.