In the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers selected their fourth forward of the day.
5’10”, 190 lbs and right-handed, Meireles played for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 68 games, Meireles recorded 36G, 61A, for 97 points, serving as the team’s alternate captain that year.
The previous year (2017-18), Meireles tallied 13G, 17A, and 30 points in 55 games. In his rookie season (2016-17), he registered 17G, 25A, and 42 points in 66 games.
In result of his outstanding play during his rookie year, Meireles was named to the OHL’s Second All-Rookie Team. In 2015, Meireles was selected 12th by Kitchener in the OHL Priority Selection.
Internationally, Meireles helped guide Team Canada to victory at the U17 WHC. Through six games, Meireles tacked on two points (1G & 1A) for a gold-medal finish.
Meireles is regarded as a player who isn’t afraid to battle for loose pucks despite his small stature. He likes to use his speed on the forecheck and has the ability to score from just about anywhere on the ice. He’s gritty, so he drives to the net hard and prides himself on winning 50-50 battles.
Defensively, he’s about where he should be for a player playing in a league like the OHL. At just 20 years of age, he’s more defensively sound than his colleagues but will likely spend the extra couple of seasons to prepare accordingly for when he goes up against men.
For the Panthers, this pick could be a steal for a sixth-round selection, seeing Meireles has the tools necessary to one day become a pro-hockey player.
Of course, sixth-round picks are never guaranteed to turn out (let alone make the NHL), but taking into account Greg Meireles’ work rate and toolset, there could be a chance that he potentially becomes a fourth-line player for the Panthers or another team.