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

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Panthers general manager took a cloverleaf up to the Toronto area on Monday hoping his franchise got lucky and kept its top standing in the upcoming NHL draft.

It didn't.

Despite finishing dead last in the NHL, the Panthers lost the draft lottery to Colorado. 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.

"We're really on course. We're in good shape,'' Tallon said. "The NHL combine is at the end of next month and we'll have our organizational meetings there. I've been watching the top three and have a good feel for who they are.''

The Panthers have been lucky in the draft lottery before, securing the top spot in both the 2002 and 2003 drafts.

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.

Florida had all five of its top selections from 2008-11 in the lineup at some point this season -- including No. 3 picks Erik Gudbranson (2010) and Jonathan Huberdeau (2011).

Whomever is taken on June 30 could be in the lineup come October although the Panthers made both Gudbranson and Huberdeau wait a year before coming up to the big club.

"You see it coming but I want to win now and I don't want to wait for years to pass,'' defenseman Brian Campbell said of Florida's youth.

"Look at a guy like Huberdeau who solidified his spot here and is a top six forward in this league. We expect great things from his next year. He had a good year. Now he should want to have a great year.''

Comments

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Like Hertz says it is good to be number two. Avs get local product Seth Jones and Panthers get the needed talented scoring center Nathan MacKinnon. Perfect.

Another example of NHL manipulation.They regard Panthers as joke so they change rules 3 mos ago so LOCAL PHENOM SETH JONES stays in Denver.Makes me sick to see this.Comments?

I agree that the lottery seems like a scam and it feels like the league has a chance to influence the outcome.
However, in this case I personally think it worked out to our advantage as Tallon does not have to loose hair trying to figure out whether we should pick defense (Jones) or a forward (Mckinnon/Drouin). Now all Tallon and his team has to figure out is who will be the best for us Drouin or Mckinnon.
I am glad we don't get Jones as I for one are tired of not having enough scoring talent on the team. We have tried defensive hockey for a decade and as that has not worked well I feel it is time for more offensive fun hockey. Plus defensive players take longer to develop and we have plenty in the system, although not of the Jones caliber, but good enough.

I said I'd be happy either way and I am. This forces the Cats to take a goal scorer, probably more exciting than a stud D-man like Jones. Completely fine with it, I hope they take McKinnon, but they'll have alot more info when the pick comes up than I do, lol.

Can't consider it a "loss" drafting #2 this year.

Weren't Bouwmeester and Nash in the '02 draft? I seem to remember that Eric Staal went just before Horton in '03 (and a whole host of superstars went after: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_NHL_Entry_Draft). Keenan had TWO picks in round one in that draft and still whiffed.

Sorry, that link above was bad. Try this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_NHL_Entry_Draft

I am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Here we are in last again and people are thinking the NHL screwed us. Why are we last again? What list of excuses are we making this time. Injuries kept us from being great. I think the players for the most part that Tallon has brought in have been suspect at best. How come we have seen other teams go to the bottom and able to rebound quickly. I think that Tallon gets one more year and if the team doesn't show vast improvement he can join the growing list of previous GM's. Other than Huberdeau and Gudbrandson--don't see a lot there and any GM could have picked those guys.

Ohh please don't bring up Keenan... Those where dark days;-) You are right he did not help. He was a disaster.

I am with Peps on this one. I am tired of going to 1 - nothing games where Panthers are the nothing. Panthers need help all over but Panthers really need some goal scoring. The stands have less and less people in them because there is nothing to cheer for, no goals makes for a very boring game and people stay home. I remember watching Pavel Bure, every time he had the puck people were standing up with anticipation to see what he was going to do. It has been a decade since Panthers had a regular goal scoring threat. There is no more boring game in the world than watching Boston get a 1 goal lead and go into trap mode and watching a bunch of average Panthers try and get the puck into there zone and when they do it is a missed opportunity and you watch another 5 minutes of trying to get into the offensive zone. When you play trap teams you need players that can score when they get the chance to force the other team to make an effort to try and get another goal if not they bore the crowd to sleep. Once you break the trap you have to score and apply pressure, Panthers need players that can do that. It is not entertaining to watch all game long broken plays across the blueline. Certainly not worth paying money to watch. A goal scorer is a must for Panthers. The last decade has been hard to watch. Please enough with 1-0 games.

I am wondering; since we have Weiss (if he returns,)Goc, Huberdeau, Mathias, Mueller, Shore, Bjugstad and Howden all being natural centers, is it wise to pick another center (Mackinnon)? I admit he would be an upgrade but what to do with all the center-men? I know centers can excel on a wing but still, that many?
I am only asking because I am not sure myself. We have far fewer natural wingers.

Yea Peps, maybe they go Druion because of the centers we have. I still think McKinnon is the guy thou...either way, we'll be getting a point producer.

And as for LOBS..."I think the players for the most part that Tallon has brought in have been suspect at best." Dude, they won a Division Title last year.

Tallon knows talent, and weather he's here for another year or 10 years (I personally hope he's here for 10), he's done a tremendous job of setting us up for a bright future. Just ask the Blackhawks...who put them together again???...oh yea, that's right.

and I don't think Weiss comes back Peps. He;s saying the right things now, but a Canadian team will overpay for him. If he wanted to stay here, he'd already have signed a contract. He's been a great Panther, but let's be honest, he's a #2 center in the NHL. I'd rather go with the young kids anyways at this point.

and if LOBS wants to go thru the list of who Tallon brought in and debate each one of them, I'd be happy to. Not much else to do at work today anyways, lol.

Actually think the pick has to be MacKinnon. Years ago when he first hit the CHL scene, I didnt think we would get a shot at him. I hoped we would make a deal and get a pick that could get him, but figured that would be a pipe dream, and low and behold we have a pretty good shot at the kid. So a BIG win in my books. Was watching the lottery play out at supper and kept telling my wife that I had a feelign COL might win it.... might have been wishful thinking though too. All April I kept hoping somehow we could end up in 2 and not 1st... becasue it takes away the urge to take the best player in Jones, and opens up MacKinnon for the Panthers. So I feel that this was the BEST outcome. And think in the end MacKinnon will be the best palyer from this draft.

One more thing of note regarding the centre position: We do have a mumber of natural centremen, however most have been used as wingers: Goc and Bjugstad played all year at C, Mathias mostly at C, but some LW (Should stay C), Shore did RW part of the NHL year, and most of the year in the AHL, HUberdeau the team has said will be a LW, Mueller was mainly at RW and Howden tends to be more so LW.

Nathan MacKinnon may be a better centermen than all those mentioned. Good chance Bjugstad plays in San Antonio. Howden is a winger, Huberdeau and Mueller are better suited at wing. Shore, Goc, Mathias and Weiss if he returns and the possibility that they wait another year for MacKinnon to play. That is why they have training camp, to see who is ready to play. Those that are not ready are either sent down to AHL, traded or moved to wing. You can never have too many good centers, just look at Pittsburgh. Panthers should have such problems.

Good points.... I agree with you on the centers. Although, 6-7 years ago we where very thin on centers now we have a bunch. It may be true that we do not have a true no 1 center and Mackinnon will be the answer.
Should be fun to see what Tallon do with all of this. It is nice to fill holes rather than having a dysfunctional team for a change:-)
The unfortunate part is that Tampa will add a very good player too. I am not sure they will take a pure goal scorer though as they have plenty.

I can guarantee one thing. Whether it's Mackinnon or Drouin that the Lightening end up with after the Panthers choose, that will turn out to be the better choice. Never fails.

I think Tallon will prove you wrong OliverT....

I know all you Tallon worshippers hate anything that anyone says about him. Tallon shocked the world be leading the Panthers to the playoffs last year. Instead of growing we took two steps back. What anyone can see is that there is little or no interest in this team anymore. Empty seats. I understand injuries hurt this team.. But more often than not there was a very poor effort night after night. Bjugsted, Howden and some of these so called top prospects better step up or this team will be in the lottery again next year. If you think debating the players that Tallon brought in--all you have to do is look at the standings---the results are in!! The Panthers are a bad team. Maybe he isn't Moses after all, time will tell if you are right or wrong.

LOBSTAHMAN in a normal year I might agree with you but this was not a normal year. This was a lockout year and many teams had the same problems the Panthers had just not to the same extent. The lockout ended and players had a week to get to camp and a week of training camp with no games. These million dollar athletes showed up injured from playing in Europe or out of shape and not ready to play. When the games started many of the out of shape pulled muscles and also got injured. Others kept playing but at a subpar level. Parros was sitting in an office negotiating for the PA and when it was time to play he was far below the standard for a pro athlete and the on ice performance showed. Weaver is slow on his best night but when the season started the guy was winded after five minutes of game time. The whole team went in the tank because 90% of the players showed up injured or out of shape. The players are the reason the Panthers stunk. Dale Tallon couldn't predict that some of his players would get injured in Europe and the others would not be ready to play. Many teams had similar problems and this was due to the lockout. Dale Tallon has done a decent job. My prediction many of the teams that did bad this year will rebound next year with a normal training camp. Panthers, Flyers, Canes, Lightning, Preds will all have good seasons next because this last season's disaster was due to the lockout more than any other thing. So I would cut Tallon some slack on this season same for the coach.

And even if Tallon could have predicted players getting injured in Europe or not being in shape, he wasn't allowed to communicate with them anyways, hahaahah. Tallon has done a much better job in the 3 years here's been here than any of his predecessors. I trust him. Next year will be a better predictor of where this team stands than this shortened, injury filled campaign.

Why do the Panthers get cut slack? They play under the same rules!! The short season is not an excuse. The effort on the ice most nights was not only boring, but the players played with no pride. They play not to win but try not to lose. Look. I think the Panthers were not as GOOD when they won last year and not as BAD as they showed this year. There is hope, but, I'm tired of people talking about Tallon like he was Moses. I want Tallon to succeed, which means the Panthers succeed. Next year the new division will be tougher and I want to see players who want to win playing and that is Tallon's job and he better get it right soon. This rebuilding takes time but how much longer will fans put up with it. If your a player and a UFA why would you want to come here? Some of these so called blue chip prospects that we have be waiting for don't appear to be blue chippers.

I am not saying cut the Panthers as in players slack, the players that were out of shape should be traded or bought out. Upshall, Weaver, Parros, etc. should be sent packing they wanted the money but didn't live up to their contract by showing up completely out of shape.

"They play under the same rules!!" Yes but many teams did not have players show up injured and out of shape, those teams had an advantage. Tallon gets pass by me for this year however I expect to see many of the under performing players jettisoned out of town. He won't get a pass next year. If you keep a guy like Upshall on your team and each year he does as poorly as the last then clearly there is something wrong with the decisions being made. If you can't trade him buy him out. Players like him won't get you any wins. Tallon needs to make some tough decisions because there will be no free pass next year. I am tired of watching slackers and players not ready for the NHL playing in Panthers jerseys.

It takes time to change a decade of poor management. I agree with the assessment that there where poor preparation for the season and players showed poor judgement in the off-season.
To suggest to change personnel again because of a poor shortened season is non-productive. Having a revolving door at GM and coach is not going to solve anything (we have tried and failed at that). The more important question is; who are you going to replace them with? Are there any guarantees it will improve things? I can only name a handful of GM's you could argue could help us but they are not available and will not be anytime soon.
My point is that we now have a GM that has built a proven winner (Chicago) and we need to give him time to do this right. THERE IS NO SHORT FIX TO THIS FRANCHISE. I say let's have some stability and let the process work even if it takes a couple of more years.

Peps if I have to watch the same crud I watched this year with the same result then Tallon has not earned his money. I can guarantee I will not be wasting my money to watch the poor performance I saw this year. They can keep the same management and players just don't expect me to pay to watch the product. They keep it up I won't even waste my time watching them on TV. I am giving Tallon a pass on last year because the players were not prepared to play. There is no lockout excuse this year. If the team and the roster is not upgraded and we get the same result then I have to question Tallon's job. He has had time to make improvements it is time for results not talk.

Drouin will be the better pure goal scorer. With that said and with that being a glaring need for us, thats a guarentee Tallon picks MacKinnon since Weiss is doing the smart thing and getting out of this mess of an organization which will never bring winning hockey to south florida. Lies lies lies, that's all you get with that group.

Garrison was a bright spot for us. Next you know he's gone.
Overpayment of sub par player. Upshall, Kuba and such

Im late to the party here but I'm not sure that Colorado picks Jones. Tallon wanted Jones, probably still does. I think Jones may fall to #2 with MacKinnon being taken by the Avs. I like Drouin but I think MacKinnon will be the better NHLer and I think that's why he is generally ranked higher than Drouin. It doesnt necessarily translate but the Memorial Cup highlights why MacKinnon is thought so highly of. I was happy Florida was picking 2nd because it forced Tallon to take MacKinnon, in theory. I still feel that Tallon will be ecstatic if Jones falls to him. I think MacKinnon ends up being the better NHL'er but Tallon is drooling over Jones. Cant blame him, his upside potential is huge but I dont think he's a sure thing. MacKinnon is almost as close as it gets. Probably will end up the best NHL'er in this draft. Another scenario and a rhetorical question ... if Avs take MacKinnon, who do you take at #2, Jones or Drouin? As mentioned, I know what Tallon will do.

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