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2010 NHL Draft: Panthers may be taking Gudbranson third overall

Jun 24, 2010, 11:06 PM EDT

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While a lot of the talk surrounding Friday’s NHL Draft surrounds the Tyler Seguin/Taylor Hall debate for who will go to the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins, it’s looking like the Florida Panthers, picking third, have zeroed in on who they’re looking to take in the third spot. George Richards from On Frozen Pond fills us in.

A few signs on Friday pointed to Gudbranson being Florida’s choice at No. 3 – with two general managers within the Panthers division saying they are penciling him in as Florida’s selection.

Not only is Gudbranson a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds who plays a tough brand of hockey. But Gudbranson is also a good looking, well spoken player the team will be able to market to South Florida.

Gudbranson is a beast of a specimen as far as things go and other writers have taken notice of him as well, like Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta sharing a couple of nice quotes from the soon-to-be first round pick.
On his trip to Long Island: “Everyone lays on the (car) horn pretty good,” he said with a smile, adding that he loved his visit with Garth Snow and to the Coliseum. “You walk in the arena, people say it’s a dump, but you see all the banners and see all the history. I was really blown away by that. That had an effect on me.”
If he’s blown away by the facilities in Nassau County, then the arena in Sunrise, Florida as well as Miami’s South Beach should really knock him on his rear end when/if the Panthers take him. In fact, I hope the Panthers were smart enough to take him the long way to the arena for a visit, the kind that shows off the beaches a lot.

After all, showing off a 14 year-old Eastern Conference championship banner kind of loses its luster after a while, especially when the guys being drafted this year were four years-old when the Panthers were last that deep into the playoffs in 1996. There, now I feel sufficiently far too old now.

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