May 30, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is hoping the reward for a nightmare season is a future franchise player that can step into the lineup and contribute right away.
On June 30, Florida will pick second overall at the draft in Newark.
“We’re hopeful,” Tallon told NHL.com. “We’re going to be a young team. It’s going to be a necessary part of our puzzle moving forward. I would hope the guy we select can play for us next year.”
Portland defenseman Seth Jones and Halifax forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are the consensus top three prospects.
While the Panthers finished last in both scoring and defense in 2013, the future could be bright with one of the above three, along with 19-year-old center Jonathan Huberdeau, a finalist for rookie of the year, and other promising youngsters like Erik Gudbranson, Jacob Markstrom, Nick Bjugstad, Dmitry Kulikov, and Rocco Grimaldi.
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- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 42
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- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 19
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
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- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (55)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (43)
- Richards: If not for the cap, half the league would want to play for Hawks (36)