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The Florida Panthers selected forward Mackie Samoskevich with the 24th pick in the 2021-22 NHL draft.
Samoskevich, 18, recorded 13 goals and 24 assists in 36 games played for the Chicago Steel of the USHL in the 2020-21 season. In the playoffs, Samoskevich contributed one goal and nine assists over eight games.
“He was a player that we scouted for a long time,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a press conference at the conclusion of the first round. “He was someone our scouts were really bullish on, both as a player and person. He plays with an edge and can produce offense and grit. That sort of dynamic winger that all the teams covet. We are just thrilled to have him.”
The Newtown, Conn., native committed to the University of Michigan for the 2021-22 season.
“Mackie is a dynamic playmaking forward who possesses great awareness and competitiveness,” Zito said in a statement. “He is able to utilize his skills to beat opposing defenders on a consistent basis, and we look forward to watching him continue his success at the University of Michigan in 2021-22.”
Hockey runs in the family for Samoskevich, as his sisters, Madison and Melissa play hockey as well. Madison played defense for Quinnipiac University in 2020-21, while Melissa, a forward, helped Team USA earn a gold medal at the 2019 Women’s World Championship.
The Panthers made their selection from Lauderdale Yacht Club, where they hosted a draft party with approximately 100 guests.
“We have to leave?” Zito joked about leaving the yacht behind for the BB&T Center Saturday.
The NHL draft will resume Saturday, where the Panthers will select at 56th, 120th, 152nd, 184th and 210th.
“We are already preparing,” Zito said. “We would like to get some more picks if possible.”