We have exactly one week to go before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft gets underway in New Jersey, and the Florida Panthers hold the no. 2 pick overall. Which means that they’re guaranteed to grab at least one of the prospects that has been labeled by the masses as a “can’t miss” player.
Most assumed that the fact that the Panthers were holding the no. 2 overall pick would rob them of the opportunity to get top blue liner Seth Jones, widely labeled by many as the best prospect in the draft. But with recent statements from the Colorado Avalanche, that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
It sounds like the Avalanche could be ready to pass on Jones as the no. 1 pick. Assuming they aren’t messing around, they’ll take one of the top forwards available. Which means that if the Panthers want to add the franchise player to the blue line that they currently lack, the opportunity may very well present itself.
The fact that the Avalanche could be passing on Jones is already seen as a mistake. If the Panthers were to do the same, allowing Jones to slip to no. 3 overall, it’d be seen as a travesty. This kid is a once in a generation talent, which is something that Florida could definitely use on defense.
He has the size that they lack on defense, standing 6’4″. He’s incredibly skilled as a defenseman. He’s an excellent puck mover, solid with the puck, and strong in his own end. He’s the real deal in all phases of the game. On top of it all, he has the intangibles that would make him a terrific addition to the locker room almost immediately.
If the Avalanche do really pass on Jones, the Florida Panthers would be foolish to pass him up. This was the worst defensive team in the league in 2013, in terms of goals allowed per game. They have some defensive talent throughout the organization, but no one near the caliber of Jones. If he’s there, he should absolutely be the pick for Florida.