Next up in our 2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview series is the Florida Panthers. After an excellent postseason run that saw them finish just short, they are looking to build off it in 2023-24. Their roster is strong heading into 2023-24, so they have a good chance of doing just that. They also have many players worth selecting in your fantasy drafts. Let’s discuss them by position now.
Florida Panthers Fantasy Hockey Preview
The Panthers’ forward group is the strongest part of their lineup. When it comes to fantasy hockey, Matthew Tkachuk is the top forward to pick from the Panthers. The 25-year-old winger is not only an elite scorer but also plays an extremely heavy game. In 79 games last season, he had 40 goals, 109 points, and 123 penalty minutes. It was the second year in a row he had at least 100 points, so he’s an obvious pick in fantasy hockey.
Aleksander Barkov is another clear choice from the Panthers. An elite two-way forward, the 28-year-old had another excellent season in 2022-23, posting 23 goals and 78 points in 68 games. He has dealt with some injury trouble in recent years but when healthy, he consistently produces at over a point-per-game pace.
The Panthers also have an array of quality complimentary forwards on their roster worth selecting. Players like Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Bennett, and Evan Rodrigues all warrant consideration. They also have quality breakout candidates in Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarainen worth taking a chance on.
When it comes to defense, the Panthers are in a tricky spot to start the year. The two obvious players who fantasy managers should look at are Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. Ekblad is a consistent top-pairing defenseman who has almost produced at a point-per-game pace in the past. Montour, on the other hand, had a 73-point campaign in 80 games last season. Yet, these two are players to add later on, as they are not expected back until November to January due to offseason surgeries.
Gustav Forsling is an underrated defenseman who quietly had a career-best season in 2022-23. In 82 games, he set new career highs in goals (13), assists (28), and points (41). Overall, the 27-year-old can produce well from the point, so he is worth considering once the big-name defensemen are off the board.
If you want to take a chance on a bounce-back candidate, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is another option. The former star defenseman needed a fresh start, and it will be fun to see if he turns things around with Florida.
Sergei Bobrovsky had an underwhelming 2022-23 regular season but was a major reason why the Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup Final. Due to his excellent postseason performance, he is a goalie who is worth taking a chance on. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner showed signs of his old self this postseason, and we will need to see if it translates over to 2023-24 from here.
Spencer Knight will be worth some consideration from fantasy managers if he officially leaves the NHL player’s assistance program before the start of the season. He did make an appearance at their developmental camp earlier this summer, which is an encouraging sign.
Nevertheless, the Panthers have some strong options to choose from for your fantasy drafts. It will be intriguing to see how well the club performs during the 2023-24 season.
Make sure to check out all of our Fantasy Hockey Team Previews as they roll out over the coming weeks!