After a respectable rookie season in 2017-18, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar built on it with a solid campaign in 2018-19 with the Florida Panthers.
Fast forward to the next season (2018-19), Weegar played in 64 games, tallying 4G, 11A, for 15 points in a year where his role was increased.
Throughout the majority of the 2018-19 campaign, Weegar played a lot on the bottom pair but was occasionally rewarded with some playing time in the top four.
It didn’t occur as much as we’d like, but when it did, Weegar made the most of the opportunity. His best game of the season came in a game against the Minnesota Wild in which Weegar potted a pair of goals.
That night, both Barkov and Dadonov assisted at least once on Weegar’s goals, with the latter (Dadonov) assisting on his pair.
Weegar demonstrated this season (unlike the last) that he is capable of jumping up into the scoring rush while providing an additional threat when needed.
The previous year, Weegar was more timid and laid back when it came offensively. Although, in both his rookie and sophomore campaign, Weegar displayed solid defensive awareness and positioning, which was rarely displayed by any defenseman on the Panthers in those two seasons.
Weegar has shown that he’s not only capable of separating his man from the puck but that he’s also aware of his surroundings at all times in his own zone.
Heading into the next season, it would be wise to keep Weegar in the same role that he played in 2018-19. Weegar has demonstrated that he’s a competent bottom-pairing defenseman, who excels at getting the puck out the first time while jumping up in the odd rush.
At this time, Weegar isn’t a top-four defenseman, but that’s okay knowing that he can handle business quite comfortably on the bottom pair.
It’s crucial that the Panthers continue to let the 25-year-old develop at his own pace so that they’re able to maximize his development once it’s fully complete.
MacKenzie Weegar has shown great strides in his first couple of seasons with the Florida Panthers, and there’s no reason why he can’t make his third full season a one to remember. As the Panthers look to take the next big step, they hope that Weegar is able to propel them in doing so while completing his part.