2022 Florida Panthers Prospect Profile: Justin Deaf

Taken in the third round (87th overall) in the 2020 Virtual NHL Draft, quick and savvy Justin Deaf is the second player from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants to be selected by the Florida Panthers. For all Panthers historians, Michael Repik was the first in 2007.

Before being Bill Zito’s fourth selection as Panthers general manager, Sourdif played in 125 regular season games in his first two seasons with the Giants, amassing 49 goals and 100 points to go along with 75 PIM and a rating. of +56. Additionally, Sourdif played 24 playoff games with Vancouver and produced two goals and six assists, including all of those points in the 2019 playoffs.

As a 2018-19 WHL rookie, Sourdif led all freshman Giants with 23 goals, making him just the third Vancouver skater to break the 20-goal mark in their 16-year season.

In his draft season, Sourdif’s 26 goals were the second best of the Vancouver roster and he finished third in the club with 54 points. In January 2020, he appeared in the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont., and recorded an assist in Team Red’s 5-3 victory over Team White.

In 2020-21, Sourdif was named BC Division Player of the Year, as the WHL played a truncated schedule based on the division due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 19-year-old led all skaters in the BC Division with 23 assists and 34 points, scoring in 17 of Vancouver’s 22 games. He drove in nine points on the power play, five on the shorthanded and finished with a +10 differential. His 34 points were tied for third in the league behind Peyton Krebs of the Winnipeg Ice (43) and Ben McCartney (37) of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

On September 24, 2021, Sourdif signed an entry-level contract with the Panthers.

With an NHL contract in his back pocket, this season Sourdif set new WHL highs with 45 assists and 71 points while playing 24 games with the Giants and 28 games with his new team, the Oil Kings. Edmonton, after being traded mid-season. January in exchange for forward Jacob Boucher, a first-round pick in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft and a first-round pick in the 2025 WHL Prospects Draft.

Sourdif matched the 26 goals he scored in 2019-20 in five fewer games. The move to a better team saw him slightly increase his overall offensive output and significantly increase the number of goals scored. He scored 9 goals with Vancouver and 17 with the Oil Kings.

The 20-year-old scored five goals and had 14 points as Edmonton posted an impressive 16-3 WHL playoff record en route to the third league championship in franchise history.

At the 2022 Memorial Cup, Sourdif had two assists in the Oil Kings’ lone win, a 4-3 overtime decision against the host Saint John Sea Dogs. He was kept off the scoresheet in tough losses to Shawinigan and Hamilton.

Sourdif was part of the Canadian team that competed in the canceled first round of the 2022 World Junior Championship in December. He played in the opening match against Czechia and didn’t play against Austria.

With the tournament postponed until August, it will be interesting to see if the Panthers allow Sourdif to show up, provided he is invited back by Hockey Canada, in the high-level event or to play it safe. and not risk injury so close to the start of training camp. The right choice, in my opinion, is for Sourdif to participate if asked.

According Elite Prospects Project Guide 2020 Dull has a powerful, hands-forward release with occasional trick placement – ​​he’s a legit long-range threat when shooting. His off-the-puck skating patterns, timing and nose for soft ice put him in the best shooting position possible. He is an extremely athletic player and he skates with a low center of gravity, which allows him to bulldoze through traffic.

With the Panthers pressed against the salary cap, a stellar performance in training camp could earn Deaf a spot at the big club, but there’s a good chance he’ll start his pro career in Charlotte with the Panthers. checkers. He will be one of the prospects to watch closely next September.

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