25-Year-Old Defenseman – Florida Panthers
Alex Petrovic Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.85 million contract with the Panthers in June of 2017.
Petrovic had a shot on goal and two PIM in Saturday's 3-2 overtime defeat to Carolina.
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Alex Petrovic: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Petrovic displayed a lot of physicality in his first full season with the Panthers, racking up 90 PIM and 157 hits to go along with two goals, 15 assists and a plus-17 rating in 66 games. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound wing was trusted with just under 17 minutes of ice time per game in a third-pairing role, and heíll likely see similar usage this season, as Florida addressed its many blue-line departures in free agency. Petrovic isnít projected to see much (if any) power-play time and hasnít shown much offensive ability in the minors, leaving his fantasy upside on the low end.
While splitting his time between the AHL and NHL last season, Petrovic began displaying some of the offensive firepower he provided in his junior career. In 41 games for AHL San Antonio, Petrovic scored three goals and 17 assists while chipping in 59 penalty minutes, though his numbers took a significant dip when he received the call-up to Florida. He appears to have the inside track on the sixth defenseman spot for the Panthers, but will likely be with the team whether or not he dresses every game.
Petrovic only saw action in seven games with the Panthers, but he played half the season with San Antonio of the AHL where he had 13 points and 79 PIM in 43 games. Petrovic has a chance to be among the Panthers top-eight defensemen to start the year, but his fate may depend on whether top pick Aaron Eckblad makes the team. If Petrovic sees a regular turn he will be a physical presence on the blue line, but only a fantasy factor in leagues that count PIM.
Petrovic played six games with the Panthers last season and only managed to rack up 25 PIMs. It looks like the vast majority of any fantasy value he provides will come from his willingness to drop the gloves.
The Panthers should boast an impressive defensive corps in the future with Dmitri Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson in the system, and Petrovic as the team's 36th overall pick in this year's draft. Unlike the prospects above, Petrovic likely will not see any time in the NHL this season. Instead, the efficacious rearguard will continue his development with the Red Deer Rebels for his fourth season in the WHL, a junior league.