Although it was pretty much guaranteed that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel would be chosen first and second overall respectively, there was a lot of speculation as to who would be available when the Panthers were on the clock with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. While some people thought that GM Dale Tallon would trade the pick to cure the team’s long-standing scoring woes, the Panthers ended up retaining the pick and chose Lawson Crouse 11th overall in this year’s draft which was held at the Panthers’ very own BB&T Center.
Lawson Crouse is a hard-working, big-bodied 6’4″, 212-pound left-winger that plays a power forward game. For his size, his skating ability and puck-handling skills are above average and he’s able to shield the puck well. He most recently finished off his second season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL where he led his team in points with 51 in 56 games, 29 of which were goals. Crouse was the youngest player on Canada’s World Juniors U20 team and was one of just two underage players on the team with the other being Connor McDavid.
Although he only tallied 3 points during the tournament, he played a pivotal two-way bottom-6 role on a stacked Canada team which ended up winning a gold medal. Crouse projects to be a top-6 power forward with the ability to score goals and play an effective defensive game. Although the Panthers are in need of a right-winger, Crouse can still slot in on Bjugstad or Barkov’s line on the left-wing when ready. You can read our full draft profile of him by clicking here.
Cats on the Prowl (@Cats0ntheprowl) June 27, 2015