clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown: 172-169

Today, we recap former Panthers Greg Smyth, Victor Oreskovich, Noah Welch, and Jeff Toms.

Getty Images

172. Greg Smyth

Smyth was a 6'4" defenseman from Oakville, Ontario. He was with the OHL London Knights when the Philadelphia Flyers picked him with their second round pick of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft with the 22nd overall pick. In three seasons with the Knights, he totalled 23 goals and 79 assists in 157 games.

In 1985-86, Smyth made his professional debut with the AHL Hershey Bears, appearing in two games after the OHL season concluded. The following season would see him spend 35 games with the Bears collecting two assists. He also appeared in one regular season and one playoff game with the Flyers to open his NHL career.

1987-88 would see Smyth split the season between Hershey (21 games, 10 assists) and Philadelphia (48 games, one goal, six assists, 192 PIM). He was traded after the season to the Quebec Nordiques with a third round pick for Terry Carkner.

For the next four seasons, Smyth split his time between the Nordiques (53 games, three assists, 265 PIM), and the AHL Halifax Citadels (157 games, 15 goals, 49 assists). He was traded to the Calgary Flames for Martin Simard near the end of the 1992-93 season.

Smyth spent the next season and a half with the Flames, scoring two goals and three assists with 110 PIM in 42 Calgary games. Florida signed him as a free agent on August 10, 1993 just before their inaugural season. He skated in Florida's first ever game, eventually appearing in 12. He scored his only goal with the Panthers in a 5-2 loss to the Nordiques on November 14th. On December 7th, the Panthers traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for cash.

Over the next four seasons, Smyth appeared with the Leafs (13 games, one assist 38 PIM) and the Chicago Blackhawks (60 games, three assists, 141 PIM).

All-Time Statline: One season, 12 games, one goal, zero assists, one point, even rating, 37 PIM, 0.6 APS.

171. Victor Oreskovich

Oreskovich was a 6'3" right winger from Whitby, Ontario. He was playing collegiate hockey with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish when the Colorado Avalanche chose him in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft with the 55th overall pick. In 46 collegiate games, he finished with three goals and three assists with 77 PIM.

In 2005-06 Oreskovich joined the OHL Kitchener Rangers, through two seasons scoring 34 goals and 42 assists in 81 contests. He signed a contract with the Avalanche in 2007, but upon learning he would be assigned to Colorado's AHL franchise chose not to report. He was suspended and subsequently announced his retirement. Ultimately, he spent two seasons away from professional hockey.

On October 9th, 2009, Oreskovich used his prior connection with then-Panther's coach Pete DeBoer (former coach of the Kitchener Rangers) to sign a free agent contract with the club. He opened the season with the AHL Rochester Americans (34 games, six goals, nine assists), earning a callup to the Panthers on October 31st. He spent 50 games with the NHL club, scoring two goals with four assists and 26 penalty minutes. After the season, the Panthers traded him to the Vancouver Canucks with Keith Ballard for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner, and a first round draft pick (Quinton Howden).

Matt Gilroy vs Victor Oreskovich Nov 25, 2009 (via hockeyfightsdotcom)

For the last two seasons, Oreskovich has played with the AHL Manitoba Moose (40 games, four goals, eight assists), the AHL Chicago Wolves (28 games, six goals, six assists) and the Canucks (17 games, three assists). He also played 19 playoff games with Vancouver in 2010-11, not figuring onto the scoresheet and finishing with a minus-6 rating and 12 PIM.

All-Time Statline: One season, 50 games, two goals, four assists, six points, minus-8 rating, 26 PIM, 0.6 APS.

170. Noah Welch

Welch was a 6'4" defenseman from Brighton, Massachusetts. The Pittsburgh Penguins picked him in the second round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft with the 54th overall pick. He elected to play collegiate hockey with Harvard, graduating with the Class on 2005. In four seasons with the Crimson, he ended up with 23 goals and 53 assists in 129 games.

In 2005-06, Welch joined the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (77 games, nine goals, 20 assists). He made his initial NHL appearance with Pittsburgh in March, scoring one goal and three assists in five games.

2006-07 would see Welch split the first part of the season between the AHL Pens (27 games, five goals, 16 assists), and the NHL Pens (22 games, one goal, one assist). On February 27th, he was traded to Florida for Gary Roberts (ouch). He finished the season by splitting his time between the AHL Rochester Americans (11 games, two goals, four assists) and the Panthers for two games in April. He scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 7-2 win on April 6th.

Welch started the 2007-08 season with the Panthers, skating in four games before losing the remainder of his season to a shoulder injury, suffered against the Montreal Canadiens on October 16th. He would also start the following season with the parent club, appearing in 23 games and scoring a goal and an assist. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 4th with a third round pick for Steve Eminger.

After 17 games with the Lightning to finish out the season, Eminger played 87 games over the next two seasons with the AHL Chicago Wolves (two goals, 11 assists). He played last season with HV71 Jonkoping of the Swedish Elite League (51 games, four goals, six assists).

All-Time Statline: Three seasons, 29 games, two goals, one assist, three points, minus-1 rating, 20 PIM, 0.6 APS.

169. Jeff Toms

Toms was a 6'4" left winger from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He was skating with the OHL Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds when the New Jersey Devils picked him in the ninth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft with the 210th overall pick. He spent two more seasons with the Greyhounds after the draft, bringing his three season totals to 77 goals and 73 assists in 159 games.

In 1994-95, Toms made his pro debut with the IHL Atlanta Knights (40 games, seven goals, eight assists). He spent most of the next season with the Knights as well, totalling 16 goals and 18 assists in 68 games. He also played one NHL game, with the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 13th in a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Toms spent most of his career commuting to and from the AHL. He played NHL games for Tampa Bay (48 games, three goals, 10 assists), the Washington Capitals (74 games, five goals, 11 assists), the New York Islanders (39 games, two goals, four assists), the New York Rangers (53 games, eight goals, five assists), and the Pittsburgh Penguins (14 games, two goals, one assist). He would sign a free agent contract with the Panthers in July, 2002.

2002-03 would be Toms only season in the organization, and would also mark his final NHL appearance. He played 64 games with the San Antonio Rampage (30 goals, 33 assists). He appeared with the Panthers in eight games over three callups, totalling two goals (including a game winner) and two assists with a plus-2 rating.

In 2003-04, Toms signed on with the Russian League Cherepovets Severstal, earning two assists in 14 matches. Since 2003-04, he has been playing with several teams in the Swiss League, totalling 115 goals and 195 assists in 282 career games.

All-Time Statline: One season, eight games, two goals, two assists, four points, plus-2 rating, four PIM, 0.6 APS.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.