June 3, 2023

The Florida Panthers are off to a decent start to their 2022-23 campaign, as they are currently 7-5-1. However, they’re starting the month of November on a bit of a rough patch as they’ve won two of their first four games of the month. This includes a loss to the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 3-1. Of course, the top line of Carter Verhaeghe, Aleksander Barkov, and Matthew Tkachuk have been doing the work to try and keep them afloat. But one piece that’s slowly looking like a good signing for Florida has been forward Colin White. He signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million this past July.

Mr. White is Starting to Cook

White has been “the one who knocks” this season as he has a total of three goals and five assists through 12 games. Additionally, he currently hones a plus-6 rating. By weight of comparison, he only had a total of 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and a rating of minus-11 through 24 games in his last season with the Ottawa Senators.

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The 21st overall selection in 2015 by the Sens is already making the best of a second chance he was given by general manager Bill Zito.

White’s Supporting Cast Shows Their Support

White has been getting a lot of love from his coaching staff since his arrival to South Florida since he made an impact in his second game as a Panther.

“Colin’s got two guys that can skate and make plays and defend,” Maurice said. “He can think and he can move pucks and find holes, which was the goal. The other two guys are forechecking and he finds the right role, it’s in the back of the net.”

Paul Maurice on Colin White’s first goal as a Florida Panther on Oct. 15, 2022

He’s quickly become acclimated to the climate and his new teammates, and it’s better for him as a result. As the season progresses, he should be able to adapt to Maurice’s system and take a new stride with the team. Additionally, he may have to get used to the warm weather in November.

White’s Already Doing Better in Florida than He Was with Ottawa

As previously mentioned, he’s almost at his point total from his last season with Ottawa at 10 points through 24 appearances. However, this is the first time since the 2017-18 season that he’s had a positive rating. He finished his last season with a rating of minus-14 and never played a full season.

Colin White Florida Panthers
Colin White already has two goals in his first year with the Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Unfortunately, he won’t be playing a full season with Florida as he’s already missed a game this year due to injury. However, the last time he played close to 82 games, which was 71 games in 2018-19, he finished with 14 goals and 27 assists. Keep in mind, this was with a poor Ottawa Senators team. Imagine how he’ll thrive with a team that is trying to be competitive.

Will White’s Efforts Be Enough to Reach the Playoffs?

Of course, it’s still relatively early in the season. But to even be in the hunt for the postseason, you have to be successful early on. White does have some playoff experience with one game in 2017, which is more than enough to want to come back for seconds. But the team still needs to answer the bell about getting back into it after making back-to-back playoff appearances the last two seasons.

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Although, his hunger to get back to the promise land, along with the team around him, should be enough of a push. The team is having a rocky November thus far, but there is plenty of road and time to get back on the right route. White more than likely can’t wait for what’s in store for his new club on the beaches of Broward County, Florida.

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