The Florida Panthers drafted power forward Lawson Crouse with the 11th overall draft selection at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft last summer – and now, they’ll get a chance to see their highly-touted prospect in his first pro hockey games.
The Panthers confirmed on Friday afternoon that Crouse, who just wrapped up his OHL postseason with the Kingston Frontenacs, will head for the AHL’s Portland Pirates to finish out their regular season and help them with their own postseason run.
He’ll be joined by fellow forward Juho Lammikko, a third round selection from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, as both were assigned to the AHL affiliate on Friday. The Finnish centre will come with Crouse as a familiar face, as well – the two played together for the Frontenacs this year, putting up a combined 45 goals and 117 points in the regular season.
The Portland Pirates are currently sitting fourth in the Atlantic Division, and just clinched their 2016 postseason berth with just a few days left in the regular season. Adding both Crouse and Lammikko should help them offensively as they head into the playoffs, as both skaters managed to put up solid numbers in the OHL’s regular season and postseason alike.
The Pirates will next play tonight, when they face the Binghamton Senators.