Florida Panthers: The Best Still To Come From Rookie Drew Shore

By Randy Holt
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As bad as the 2013 season was for the Florida Panthers, due to the roster being ravaged by injury, there were plenty of positives to come out of it. The fact that so many players went down with injuries, whether for the short or long-term, over the course of the season opened up the opportunity for younger players to showcase their skills.

One of those players who was able to seize an opportunity was rookie Drew Shore. The former second round draft pick out of the University of Denver, back in 2009, was able to make his way into 43 of 48 games for the Panthers, showing that he has the stuff to stick around in this lineup in the future.

Shore finished the regular season with 13 points, including only three goals. Those totals didn’t really meet expectations, but he managed to make an impact beyond the numbers. His 17 takeaways were fifth on the team, and he logged regular minutes on the power play, while seeing some time on the penalty kill as well.

In college, Shore was a guy capable of potting 20 or so goals. He’s a more than capable offensive player, but he’s also defensively responsible. He’s the type of two-way forward, who has the ability to play with a bit of an edge, that this Panthers team can definitely use.

Shore showed a willingness to play the physical game when he had to, blocked a few shots, and was pretty solid at the faceoff dot, winning 48 percent of his draws on the year. If he can see an uptick in his offensive numbers, he has the potential to become an all-around threat for this team. And in 2013-14, he should do just that.

Fresh off of wrist surgery, Drew Shore will be headed into the new season completely healthy and having to adjusted to a season at this level. The team around him should be better. He should see those offensive numbers go up pretty steadily.

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