The Florida Panthers trimmed their preseason roster down to 29 players on Wednesday morning and among that group was Jayce Hawryluk, who was on some of my early projected rosters. Hawryluk was thought to be one of the long-term prospects that would possibly get a good look this year, but his look ended a bit too early, but leaves some interesting players behind in camp.
Forward Connor Brickley is doing well to make a name for himself in this year's camp, while the Panthers' top pick this past summer, Owen Tippett, is also still in camp, inching closer to that 9-game tryout at the start of the season, if things continue on this trend.
In Philadelphia, one of their key NCAA signings from late last season hasn't quite made the cut this year, as Mike Vecchione has been sent down to the AHL on Wednesday, adding to the belief that Nolan Patrick is going to be on the opening night roster for the Flyers. Vecchione saw two games with the Flyers at the end of last season and hasn't quite lifted his stock up enough in this preseason, obviously, to warrant a longer look. His initial projections will take a hit to call-up levels, while others may slowly creep upwards.
The St. Louis Blues made a good number of cuts on Wednesday as well, including a pair of impressive young rookies, heading back to junior, in Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. Both were very impressive on the scoresheet for the Blues in this preseason, but more seasoning was obviously on the docket with a pretty deep squad, as it is in St. Louis.
The Blues also put forward Beau Bennett on waivers for the purpose of reassignment on Wednesday and sent down defenseman Jordan Schmaltz as well, both were hovering on the projected points list. Both players have taken the hits, as they now leave behind youngsters like Tage Thompson, Samuel Blais, Klim Kostin, Jake Walman and Vince Dunn to still fight for a few spots left. The Blues camp remains one of the more interesting, indeed.
The Los Angeles goaltending situation appears to have gotten much clearer on Wednesday, as Jeff Zatkoff was demoted to the AHL, leaving Darcy Kuemper to be the favourite for the back-up job this year behind Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff was the incumbent for the position, but that wasn't enough in the end and now his projected 15 points head over to Kuemper for draft day this weekend.
It wasn't the most prestigious spot in the league, as Quick should be taking more than a majority of the starts for the Kings, as long as they remain competitive this season.