The 2013 season was a disappointing one for the defending Southeast Division champion Florida Panthers as a team, but the shortened season did see some impressive individual accomplishments. Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau flashed potential as a future superstar, Tomas Fleischmann led the team in scoring and goaltender Jacob Markstrom turned in a few impressive performances. Winger Tomas Kopecky also turned in a decent year, as he was able to match some of his career-high scoring totals in the abbreviated season.
Kopecky finished third on the Panthers in scoring, with 15 goals and 27 points. While those kinds of numbers aren’t exactly All-Star worthy, they hopefully show that Kopecky is finally ready to be a regular contributor in Florida. The Detroit Red Wings drafted Kopecky in 2000, and he toiled in the AHL for four seasons before getting his shot with the team. He won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, and another in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks. He put up the best numbers of his career during the 2010-11 season with the Blackhawks, scoring 15 goals and adding 27 assists. He was traded to the Panthers that summer, and if he can keep putting up points like this he’s quite a bargain at $3 million per season.
The Panthers finished 29th in the league in goals per game, so having players like Kopecky on the team should be a step in the right direction as they try to regroup and rebuild. Bringing in some complimentary pieces would be a great step this summer, and hopefully Kopecky can set some new career highs with a full 2013-14 season to work with.