With the 24th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Florida Panthers have selected Mackie Samoskevich from the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL)
About Mackie Samoskevich
As creative and dynamic as they come, Mackie Samoskevich was one of the many standouts on a stacked Steel team that featured the likes of Matthew Coronato, Sean Farrell, and Josh Doan. Teaming up on the power play and frequently 5-on-5, the duo of Samoskevich and Coronato were a nightmare for opposing teams night in and night out. Likely a 20-30 goal scorer at the NHL level, he is often a highlight reel on skates, using his soft hands and NHL-caliber shot to fool defencemen and goaltenders alike. Trust me when I say, you will be hearing the name Samoskevich a lot in the coming years.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“When you look at the Chicago Steel and its players, you can’t help but see Matthew Coronato’s 48 goals and 85 points. However, there is another Matthew that should be mentioned too. Matthew Samoskevich may not be as prolific as Coronato, but he definitely has the tools to become an effective top-six forward in the NHL.
Related: THW’s 2021 NHL Draft Guide
“Samoskevich’s game lives on the rush and in transition. He has deceptive speed when he picks up the puck and can shift gears almost on command. He also has tremendous edges and soft hands that can embarrass defenders and goaltenders alike. In fact, he probably has some of the best hands of the 2021 draft class.
“Samoskevich is basically a human highlight reel capable of bringing fans out of their seats at a moment’s notice. His defensive game might be the only thing that needs development, as the offensive toolkit he possesses is off the charts. He can beat you in a variety of ways, be it with a quick deke, precision pass, or snipe show of a shot. In other words, you better keep an eye on him when he’s on the ice.
“Committed to the University of Michigan next season, Samoskevich will be around a plethora of talent as he joins fellow top prospects Matt Beniers, Kent Johnson, Owen Power, and Luke Hughes on a team that is quickly bordering on unfair. By the time he joins an NHL franchise in a few seasons, he could have multiple NCAA championships under his belt as well as the valuable experience of playing with future superstars.
“Samoskevich has everything you want in a top-line forward, speed, creativity and the potential for bush loads of points. If he can harness all his raw potential and translate it to the NHL, the sky’s the limit.”
Full player profile can be found here
How This Affects the Panthers’ Plans
Needing more scoring throughout their pipeline, the Panthers got a good one in Samoskevich. It may take a few seasons before he is showcasing his talents in the NHL, but when he does finally arrive, it will be well worth the wait. Look for him to immediately become one of the Panthers’ top prospects.