Mackie Samoskevich's immediate plans are to attend the University of Michigan as a freshman this fall.
But the 18-year-old from Fairfield County now also has a future as a professional ice hockey player.
In the National Hockey League Draft on Friday night, July 23, the Newtown resident was selected in the first round by the Florida Panthers with the 24th overall pick.
A forward, Samoskevich appeared in 36 games with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2020-21, recording 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists, 37 points). He then had 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in eight postseason games, helping the Steel to a Clark Cup championship.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder 73 points (26-47-73) over 85 career USHL games with Chicago from 2018-19 to 2020-21. Prior to his USHL career, he spent three seasons at Shattuck St. Mary's School in Minnesota.
"Mackie is a dynamic playmaking forward who possesses great awareness and competitiveness," Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito said. "He is able to utilize his skills to beat opposing defenders on a consistent basis, and we look forward to watching him continue his success at the University of Michigan in 2021-22."
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