LOTTERY LOSS: Florida Panthers Drop to Second in NHL Draft as Avs Win Lottery

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The good news for the Panthers is they couldn’t fall any further than second overall. Florida holds the second pick with Tampa Bay choosing third, The NHL draft will be a one-day affair this season and will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30. As Tallon said at the Panthers’ season-ending media session on Sunday afternoon, the team figures to score no matter where the ping pong balls landed on Monday. The 2013 draft is considered to be talent-heavy on the top end with at least three players projected to be NHL ready now or in the near future. “We’re going to get a really good player within the first two picks,” Tallon said Sunday. “We’re going to get a hell of a player.” The top-rated North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting is defenseman Seth Jones, a native of Arlington, Texas, who is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Seth Jones played for Portland of the Western Hockey League and led all rookie defensemen in the WHL with 14 goals and 42 assists. Jones also was the youngest member of Team USA’s gold medal team at the world juniors. Center Nathan MacKinnon and winger Jonathan Drouin — who both played for Halifax of the Quebec junior league — are also in the running to be the top overall pick. Drouin led the Mooseheads with 41 goals and 105 points to earn league MVP honors; MacKinnon had 32 goals and 75 points for Halifax. source:

Leafs blow away Florida Panthers 4-0 in final home game

Panthers play spoiler in wild 3-2 win over desperate Rangers

The injury-decimated Panthers have been notorious slow starters all season and have been outscored 59-33 in the first period in which they’ve trailed 27 times (2-22-3). Two quick goals coming three minutes apart in the second period by Phil Kessel (19 goals) had Panthers fans looking to swap their thundersticks giveaways for a white flag as the Leafs snatched a 4-0 cushion heading into the third. “They relaxed a little bit and thought it was going to be easy,” Panthers assistant coach Gord Murphy said of the seven rookies on the ice. “These are hard lessons for these young men.” The Panthers outshot Toronto 34-17, but Leafs goalie James Reimer sparkled to notch his fourth shutout of the season. It’s the seventh time this season the Panthers have been shut out. They’ve lost seven of their last eight. “We wanted to win that last one for the fans, there’s not much to cheer about,” said Panthers forward Shawn Matthias . “It’s been a frustrating year but the last month has been very frustrating to say the least, just one more game. We’ve got to go out there with some pride in our game.” Rookie defenseman Alex Petrovic delivered the Panthers best shot of the night, a solid hook to Nazem Kadri ‘s face, but Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser ambushed Petrovic, earning him a game misconduct at 18:50 of the second. Petrovic got his 10-minute misconduct in a third-period scrape. The Panthers’ season mercifully ends in Tampa on Saturday against the disappointing Lightning , whose remaining relevance has to do with whether Martin St Louis or Steven Stamkos wins the Art Ross Trophy for being the NHL points leader. source:,0,3923239.story

Florida Panthers get second pick in NHL Draft Lottery, Colorado Avalanche get No. 1

Seth Jones of Team McClanahan skates against Team Housley at the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the First Niagara Center on Sept. 29, 2012 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Florida, however, never used those top picks and instead traded them away. In 2002, the Panthers didn’t need a goaltender, so they traded the top pick to Pittsburgh, who took Marc-Andre Fleury. Florida slid down to No. 3 and took the player it wanted in defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. Two years later, Florida decided it wanted Nathan Horton. Columbus wanted Rick Nash and dealt with the Panthers to move into the top slot. Both teams got the players they wanted with Nash becoming an All-Star selection for the Blue Jackets — and a player they ultimately traded to New York last summer. Both Bouwmeester and Horton asked for trades and were later dealt. Bouwmeester will make his postseason debut with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday against the defending champion Kings; Horton won the 2011 Stanley Cup championship with the Bruins. Since 2001, the Panthers have had eight top-10 picks. Of those, all but Rostislav Olesz were in the league last season but just three remain with the organization. source:

Cross Checks: Florida Panthers


And, as was the case last year, the league’s worst team, in this case the Florida Panthers , was denied the first-overall pick as the Colorado Avalanche , the 29th team, ended up with what a first overall pick that could dramatically change the fortunes of this once-proud franchise that has gone adrift in recent years. How long after Monday’s draft lottery do you think the first Seth Jones Avs jerseys hit the streets of Denver? LEBRUN: Talk about a script written in Hollywood, as Jones — son of former NBA player Popeye Jones — grew up skating in Denver. Even the Avs can’t screw this up. And he’s exactly what they need. Colorado has a nice young cast of forwards up front, led by Gabriel Landeskog , Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene , but what they need is a sure-fire stud on defense and that’s what they would get in Jones, rated first overall by many draft forecasters. I feel bad for Panthers GM Dale Tallon because Jones would also have been a perfect fit in South Florida, a nice compliment to impressive Panthers rookie center Jonathan Huberdeau . But as far as consolation prizes go, if the Avs do indeed take Jones first overall, having to choose between Canadian forwards Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin isn’t a bad choice at all. BURNSIDE: You’re right, this is as good as it gets for an Avs franchise that needs a significant shot in the arm after missing the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. I think the bigger question is: Who stands at the podium at The Rock in Newark on June 30 and calls Seth Jones’ name? Will it be GM Greg Sherman? Or maybe someone more recognizable? source:

With best odds of winning, Florida Panthers test luck in Monday’s NHL draft lottery

With best odds of winning, Florida Panthers test luck in Monday’s NHL draft lottery (Chris O’Meara/ Associated Press ) – Florida Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom (35), of Sweden, stops Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Benoit Pouliot (67) on a penalty shot during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. Apr 28, 2013 05:33 PM EDT AP NEW YORK — The NHL holds its draft lottery Monday night, and the Florida Panthers have the best odds of winning. The draw will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the league’s amateur draft June 30. All 14 NHL teams that missed the playoffs have a shot at the No. 1 selection. Florida finished with the fewest points in the NHL this season. It has a 25 percent chance of winning the draw, followed by Colorado at 19 percent and Tampa Bay at 14 percent. In previous years, the lottery-winning team could move up no more than four slots in the draft order. This year, the winning draw will draft first overall. The remaining 13 teams are slotted in reverse order of their regular-season point totals. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. source:


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