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.
- Byfuglien to have phone hearing for Miller cross-check 43
- Patrick Kane is practicing today 30
- NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night 34
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller 65
- Video: Byfuglien gets away with ugly cross check, penalized late in Jets loss to Rangers 35
- Video: Lucic scores late winner, Bruins deal crushing blow to Panthers playoff hopes 10
- Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons 18
- ‘Almost like a game seven tonight’ for Bruins, Panthers 15
- Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack 48
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 22