Who Might The Panthers Draft?
The NHL Entry Draft is slowly approaching, and the final rankings have been released. Tonight marks the date for the Draft Lottery, and the Panthers are a sure bet to pick top 5, maybe even #1.
But who would they take if given 3rd overall? Who would be available?
The Oilers will in all likely-hood draft first overall. If they go forward, it’s a safe bet that it’ll be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Ryan has excelled and has driven himself straight to the top of the Central Scouting rankings. However, I feel that the Oilers are in need of a bigger body, more defensive forward such as Gabriel Landeskog. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded down. If they go with a defenseman, it’ll likely be Adam Larsson.
With the Avs likely to draft 2nd, They need offensive skill, and defensemen, so I’d expect them to draft one of Larsson or Nugent-Hopkins, whoever the Oilers pass on of the two.
And then we get to the Panthers, who hopefully won’t slide down in the draft order. I fully expect them to take whoever is there out of Landeskog, Nugent-Hopkins, or Larsson. Right now, it looks like Landeskog will be wearing a Florida jersey in his NHL debut.
However, with no clear cut #1, or even top 5, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one (if not more) team trade down in the draft. A lot of people say that this is a weak draft class, I COMPLETELY disagree. I mean, it doesn’t look like there’s a talent worthy of the #1 overall pick, but there’s about 20 guys who are top 10 talents. Not to mention the fact that eventually 3 or more of these guys are going to excel in the NHL one day, and scouts are going to look back and say “How did we miss that?”. I would compare this draft to the ’03 draft consisting of Parise, Kesler, Richards, Getzlaf, Perry etc.
So for Panthers fans (or any NHL fans reading this), GET EXCITED!