NHL Draft: Panthers make 8 selections on Day 2
SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers selected eight players during day two of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
“The 2019 Draft was an exciting one for the Florida Panthers organization,” said Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon. “Over the last two days we have selected quality young players and added positional depth to our talented prospect pool. We are thrilled for these young men to join our group of prospects in South Florida next week for our development camp and look forward to their future with the Panthers.”
Florida selected defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok in the second round (52nd overall), defenseman John Ludvig in the third round (69th overall), forward Cole Schwindt in the third round (81st overall), defenseman Carter Berger in the fourth round (106th overall), forward Henrik Rybinski in the fifth round (136th overall), forward Owen Lindmark in the fifth round (137th overall), Greg Meireles in the sixth round (168th overall) and forward Matthew Wedman in the seventh round (199th overall).
The Panthers acquired the 81st overall selection from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for fourth round picks 104 and 114. Florida also acquired the 136th overall selection from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 fifth round draft choice.
Kolyachonok, 18, appeared in 53 games with the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League, producing 29 points (4-25-29) and appeared in one game for the London Knights (OHL). He was named to the 2018-19 OHL All-Rookie Team.
On the international stage, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound native of Minsk, Belarus, captained his country’s team at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship, posting five points (1-4-5) in five games.
Kolyachonok is the first Belarus-born player to be selected by the Panthers in franchise history.
Ludvig, 18, appeared in 58 games with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, registering 18 points (5-13-18). Possessing dual citizenship, the 6-foot, 196-pound native of Liberec, Czech Republic and Kamloops, British Columbia, appeared in three postseason games with Portland. His father Jan Ludvig played 314 career NHL games with the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres (1982-83 to 1985-86, 1986-87 to 1988-89), owning 141 points (54-87-141) .
Schwindt, 18, appeared in 68 games with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League, recording 49 points (19-30-49). The 6-foot-2, 182-pound native of Kitchener, Ontario, scored one goal over four postseason games with the Steelheads.
Berger, 18, appeared in 54 games for the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League, producing 63 points (27-36-63). The 2018-19 BCHL First Team All-Star’s 27 points and 63 points led the league’s defensemen. The 6-foot, 200-pound native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, posted 18 points (5-13-18) over 15 postseason games.
On the international stage, Berger represented Canada West at the 2018 U19 World Junior A Challenge.
He is committed to the University of Connecticut for the 2019-20 season.
Rybinski, 17, appeared in 33 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), posting 35 points (7-28-35). He also appeared in 14 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL), recording five points (1-4-5) and notched 12 points (1-11-12) over nine games with the Coquitlam Express (BCHL). The 6-foot, 176-pound native of Vancouver, British Columbia, registered two assists in six postseason games with Seattle.
Lindmark, 18, appeared in 56 games with the USA National Team Development Program, producing 25 points (11-14-25).
On the international stage, the 6-foot, 193-pound native of Enid, Okla., earned a bronze medal with USA at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship where he owned the tournament’s best faceoff percentage (68.09).
He posted three points (2-1-3) in four games for USA at the 2019 Five Nations Tournament.
Lindmark is committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2019-20 season.
Meireles, 20, led the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) with 97 points (36-61-97) in 68 games and served as the club’s captain. In the postseason, the 5-foot-11, 188-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario, registered two points (1-1-2) in four games.
Wedman, 20, led the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) with 40 goals and 77 points in 66 games. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta, registered six points (3-3-6) over six postseason games. He was named to the 2018-19 WHL West Second All-Star Team.
The Panthers selected goaltender Spencer Knight with the 13th overall pick of the first round during day one of the NHL Draft on June 21.
Florida’s nine total selections at the 2019 NHL Draft mark the most in a single draft for Florida since the 2011 NHL Draft (10 total picks).