University of Michigan senior Zach Hyman — taken by Florida in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — has informed the Panthers he won’t be signing an entry-level deal with the club.
The move will allow Hyman to become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16, though the Panthers may trade his rights before then. Regardless, the Sunrise-based team will be losing out on a fairly promising prospect; Hyman led the Wolverines in scoring this year, with 54 points in 37 games, and finished as a Hobey Baker finalist.
Hyman has above-average speed and is a smooth and shifty skater. He has good lateral quickness and excellent stability on his skates. Hyman has shown dramatic improvement in his defensive and physical play during his college career and plays a disciplined, hard hitting game in his own zone. He has become a quality possession player who takes a lot of defensive zone starts and converts them into up-ice pressure.
Hyman is enjoying his finest college season as a senior at Michigan in 2014-15. He is the Wolverines' leading scorer as Michigan has been among the top teams in the country for much of the year.
Likely to sign an entry-level contract with Florida following his college season,he may need time at the minor level to adjust to pro hockey. Long-term, Hyman appears versatile enough to play either center or winger and could blossom into a dangerous, two-way scoring forward with tremendous professional potential.
Hyman and Dylan Larkin were so good together this season that I have to think Kenny will try very hard to land him.