The Panthers reassigned three players to their AHL affiliate on Wednesday as the team enters its final two games of the preseason.
Forwards Jayce Hawryluk, Maxim Mamin, and Sebastian Repo were cut and sent to the Springfield Thunderbirds, reducing the Panthers’ training camp roster to 29 players.
Hawryluk, a second-round draft pick of the Panthers back in 2014, seemed to fit the speed, skill, and sandpaper mold that Dale Tallon and head coach Bob Boughner were looking for, but it just be that they want to bring him along properly.
The 21-year old played in just 47 games last season as a rookie in the AHL after suffering a broken wrist in the preseason and a concussion during his league debut in December.
With an improved forward group set to hit the ice for the Thunderbirds, he’s primed for a solid year, which could certainly include a call-up to the big club.
Mamin and Repo were both 6th-round draft picks in 2016 and 2017 respectively and were thought to have an edge heading into camp because of their pro experience. The 22-year old Mamin played the last 3 seasons in the KHL with CSKA Moskva and most recently recorded a career-high 25 points in 42 games.
Repo, 21, has played in Finland’s Liiga for the past two years and is also fresh off a career year during which he tallied 35 points in 54 combined games with Tappara and the Pelicans.
Having the time necessary to adjust to not only the smaller rink and and different style of play but also North America in general should be beneficial for Mamin and Repo.
The two could see big roles out of the gate because of their pro résumés.
The Panthers will face the Lightning in their second-to-last preseason game on Thursday at 6pm. They’re allowed to have a maximum of 23 players on their roster by Opening Night, which is next Friday, October 6th.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds will open their preseason on Friday night against the Providence Bruins.
Update: Contrary to what the Panthers announced, Sebastian Repo will actually play for Tappara Tampere of Liiga instead of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate.
The move is allowed by a provision in his contract which allows him to return to Finland if he doesn’t make the Panthers’ NHL roster, which he was cut from on September 27th.
Repo has played in Liiga, Finland’s top pro league, full-time for the past two seasons, totaling 63 points in 104 games with Tappara and the Pelicans.