3 Panthers With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Florida Panthers first disappointed by just squeaking into the playoffs last season before going on a very surprising run in which they lost in the Stanley Cup Final. They were a fairly different team from the season prior, but while some had disappointing seasons, others had very good ones that will be hard to replicate. Here's a look at three Panthers with the most to prove in 2023-24.

Brandon Montour

Brandon Montour has been a capable scorer since entering the NHL at 23 years old, but many thought he would max out at around 30-40 points. His first season in Florida treated him well when he set a career high in goals and points in 2021-22 before blowing that out of the water last season. With MacKenzie Weegar traded to the Calgary Flames, Montour got a larger role and logged over 24 minutes a night. This allowed him to record 73 points, good enough for fifth among defensemen in the NHL. He will have big expectations to come close to that output this season in order to help the Panthers get back to the postseason.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Oliver Ekman-Larsson is coming off a buyout from the Vancouver Canucks and is looking to prove that he is worth more money and a longer term deal. The Panthers brought him on for just over $2 million AAV for one year after his last deal was an eight-year, $66 million deal. Once he wasn't the number one defenseman in Vancouver after the trade, he went downhill offensively in a hurry. Offense was the top component of his game, so his value dropped significantly. He will have a lot less pressure this season in Florida and will be able to play without so much scrutiny. This could be a good chance for him to show that he can still play at a high level.

Sergei Bobrovsky

The Panthers are still paying Bobrovsky $10 million AAV for three more years, but it was almost all worth it after he came close to making them Stanley Cup champions for the first time in franchise history. He had a very sub-par regular season, his third in four seasons with the team since getting his big contract. While the long playoff run was a good sign, he will have to carry that over to the regular season if the Panthers want to continue to have success and make it worth the money they are paying him.

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