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Joey Crabb

Pirri leads quartet of Panthers who became bonafide NHLers last season

Pirri leads quartet of Panthers who became bonafide NHLers last season

While former first-round draft picks such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad more than lived up to expectations this season, the Panthers received surprising production from four other unheralded players who became bonafide NHLers. On the the back end, defensemen Alexander Petrovic and Steven Kampfer took advantage of playing opportunity to make the jump from the AHL and gain a solid foothold on the Panthers' blue line. Up front, a couple of Blackhawks castoffs, Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Pirri, who were unable to crack Chicago's star-studded lineup, combined to score 41 goals in basically their first full NHL seasons. "They all took a big...

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