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South Florida Has Never Produced an NHL Player; Will Andrew Yogan Be the First?

The state of Florida has produced some of the world's finest athletes; and so it's hard to believe that in the history of the National Hockey League there have only been three Florida natives -- and none of them from South Florida.

Andrew Yogan from Boca Raton is going to try to change that. The 6-foot-3 inch center has a good shot at being selected by an NHL team in the amateur draft that begins May 24.

Yogan, who's 18 and is playing for a junior hockey team in Erie, Pennsylvania, grew up rooting for the Florida Panthers -- another aspect of his biography that will set him apart from his future teammates.

Central Scouting ranks Yogan the 61st prospect among North American skaters, but he's also battling European skaters for draft status. Of course, the NHL draft is similar to Major League Baseball's in that selected players sign minor-league contracts, then try to earn their way to the big show.

Based on projections, Yogan would be fortunate to get drafted in the third round. The odds are against third-rounders hoping to suit up for an NHL team.

But there's a lot to like about Yogan. You can't teach his kind of size. He's already shown good puck skills. If his skating improves he could develop into a playmaker. If he keeps growing, Yogan might be valuable on checking lines and even as an enforcer. His Youtube library makes it clear he doesn't back away from a fight.

Here's a feature from NHL.com about Yogan.

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Thomas Francis

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