Jul 17, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
But GM Dale Tallon says it’s all part of the plan.
“We’re going to go with our young guys,” Tallon told NHL.com. “That’s been the plan all along and that’s the way we’re going to go.”
In fairness to Tallon, it’s a plan worth trying.
Florida has been stockpiling high draft picks ever since 2010 — the year Tallon joined the club — and now appears primed to show ‘em off.
In 2011, it was this year’s Calder Trophy winner, Jonathan Huberdeau (third overall) and Rocco Grimaldi (33rd overall).
In 2012, it was Mike Matheson (23rd overall) and at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, it was Aleksander Barkov (second overall).
All told, that’s seven top-35 picks, and a few others selected just outside the top 35 (Alex Petrovic, Vincent Trochek) that are ready to challenge for spots as well.
While the Panthers figure to go through some major growing pains with so many youngsters in the lineup, Tallon says it’s a necessary step to speed up the learning process. Florida can’t exactly go through a lengthy rebuild, given the club has only made the playoffs once in the last 12 seasons.
“We’ve got to go in a different direction with our young guys,” Tallon said. “The Barkovs and Bjugstads and [Drew] Shores and Trochecks — those are the guys that are our future.
“That’s what’s going to have to get done here.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the youngsters mix with Florida’s old guard.
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 14
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 50
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 38
- Lundqvist shuts out Red Wings to claim 300th victory 11
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 10
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 19
- Stars believe Lehtonen suffered concussion from Haula collision (update) 23
- Video: Stars retire Mike Modano’s jersey 11
- Rostislav Klesla passes on joining Sabres organization following trade 12
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (67)