Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers committed grand theft when they traded a 2014 third-round pick and a 2016 fifth-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Pirri.
No doubt about it, the Blackhawks gave up on the kid, there was room there in the lineup for him to play. He put up great AHL numbers, in 238 games with the Rockford IceHogs, Pirri totaled 200 points. One would think with those professional numbers, he would’ve been given more of a chance, especially since he is still just 24 years of age.
It’s Chicago’s loss and Florida’s gain.
No more doom and gloom about the Panthers’ past, it’s time for us to be Pirring into the future.
In 49 games this past season, Pirri scored 22 goals but only added 2 assists. He notched 17 of those goals in just a 22 game span too, making him one of the hottest forwards toward the end of the season. Pirri could be described as selfish with those numbers.
For the Florida Panthers and Pirri though, that’s not something anyone will be complaining about.
It’s refreshing to have a player with a shoot first mentality. Every team needs one (as long as they’re good at it). And Pirri looks to be very good at it. Granted, a few more assists sprinkled in here and there wouldn’t hurt.
Looking ahead to the future, Pirri would look great next to the big center Nick Bjugstad on the 2nd line. You don’t want to break up the chemistry that was built on the 1st line with Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Jaromir Jagr.
But how many goals should we expect from Pirri on a yearly basis now? Twenty, Thirty, Forty even?
It’s tough to gauge after such a relatively short stint with the Cats so far. Though when watching him shoot the puck, you can’t imagine anything less than twenty per season. Pirri knows where to go to get his shot off fast and is very accurate with it too.
Keep your eyes peeled for this kid, as he just broke into the league and is looking to improve on an already impressive start.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble