A lot of excitement at the NHL Entry Draft lottery, including New Jersey winning it and moving from 8th to 4th draft position. Based on what I’ve heard from Devils writers, I fully expect for them to take Sean Couturier 4th overall if he’s available. A HUGE plus for Devils fans. Now on to the Panthers..
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I expect the Panthers to select the best available player at 3rd overall; most are saying (including myself) that Landeskog is likely their guy. However, this is pure speculation. What the Panthers scouting staff decides on could be a whole different ball game. But if the Panthers were to take the projected 3rd overall pick, what would he bring to the table?
Well…Many are calling Gabriel Landeskog a Sweedish Right-Wing version of Mike Richards. Gabriel is a very solid two-way winger, he has the size and skill to dominate at both ends of the rink. My only chance to see Gabriel came in an 8-3 loss to the OHL’s worst team, the Barrie Colts. Although he didn’t light up the stat-sheet, he certainly impressed me. He doesn’t give up on a play, regardless of what the scoreboard says. Every time he jumped over the boards it was hard for me to take my eyes off of him, not just because of the hype, but because of the effort he puts into every shift. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes the best player out of any drafted this year, he’s a very special player with infinite upsides.
This is truly a great year to hold the 3rd overall pick (as are most) and it’s only a matter of time before we see what the Panthers make of it. I expect something special from Dale Tallon and his scouting staff.