2015 NHL Draft In Pictures

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We hope everyone had a good time at the 2015 NHL draft. Sunshine State Hockey would like to thank the Florida Panthers and the National Hockey League for hosting a very memorable event, and for putting our favorite team at the front of the hockey world for two days. Please enjoy these pictures taken by us during draft weekend.

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Panthers Place Boyes On Waivers, Buyout Coming

BradBoyes

The Florida Panthers announced today that they have placed forward Brad Boyes on waivers with the intention of buying out the final year of his contract, which is valued at $2.625 million. Boyes, who recorded 14 goals during the 2014-2015 season, will join a long list of players from around the league that will have their contracts bought out. Other players include Alex Semin (CAR), Cody Hodgson (BUF), and former Panthers center, Stephen Weiss (DET). This move opens up another roster spot for Florida entering the 2015-2016 campaign.

What To Know Before The Draft

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The 2015 NHL entry draft is just days away, and the Florida Panthers have the privilege of playing host to one of the most anticipated drafts since Sidney Crosby was selected first overall by Pittsburgh in 2005. Another superstar is about to emerge, with center Connor McDavid being touted as the obvious first choice by the Edmonton Oilers. Of course, as most people know, there is a lot more to the draft than just young men realizing their lifelong dream. The following is everything fans need to know to prepare themselves for the festivities that will take place on Friday and Saturday.

The Top 30

First, let’s talk about the prospects. McDavid is already a household name, but what about the other 29 prospects that could hear their names called in the first round? Here is the complete list of the top 30 North American skaters available:

draft rank

To see the full list of skaters and goaltenders from North America and Europe, click here.

Round 1 Draft Order

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Trade Bait

Kessel

One of the most exciting parts of any draft day are the trades. Every year at least one team pulls the trigger on a blockbuster deal in hopes to improve their team. Last year it was Anaheim who bolstered their lineup on draft day by acquiring Ryan Kesler from Vancouver. His contributions helped his new team reach the Western Conference finals before falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Fast forward to this weekend’s draft and there are plenty of big names available for the taking. The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to unload their two biggest stars, Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, while the Chicago Blackhawks need to shed salary, and they may look to do so by trading Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell. Other names being mentioned in trade talks include Cam Talbot (NYR), Milan Lucic (BOS), and Eric Staal (CAR). TSN has compiled an entire list of players that are rumored to be up for grabs this weekend, which can be seen here.

Schedule of Events

Finally, the Florida Panthers are doing their best to provide a fantastic weekend for everyone attending the 2015 NHL entry draft. From autograph signings to trading card shows there will be something for everyone on Friday and Saturday. For the entire schedule of events just look below.

DraftSchedule

For any other questions about the draft fans can refer to draft central, a web portal created by the Florida Panthers. Round one of the 2015 National Hockey League entry draft takes place this Friday, June 26th, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.

Panthers Release 2015-2016 Preseason Schedule

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Yesterday the Florida Panthers released the preseason schedule for their upcoming 2015-2016 campaign. The Panthers will play in six preseason games, four on the road and two at home, against the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Nashville will host Florida in what has become their annual double header, with two games on September 20th. The entire schedule can be seen below.

Florida Panthers vs Nashville Predators – 4:30 PM, September 20th, 2015 (Bridgestone Arena)

Florida Panthers vs Nashville Predators – 8:00 PM, September 20th, 2015 (Bridestone Arena)

Dallas Stars vs Florida Panthers – 7:30 PM, September 22nd, 2015 (BB&T Center)

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning – 7:30 PM, September 25th, 2015 (Amalie Arena)

Florida Panthers vs Dallas Stars – 8:00 PM, September 27th, 2015 (American Airlines Center)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers – 7:00 PM, October 3rd, 2015 (BB&T Center)

Playoff Predictions – Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final

Then there were two. Out of the 16 teams that started the climb to the top, only the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning remain. The best-of-seven series (which is almost now officially underway) begins tonight and will determine who holds the right to stand alone at the top and raise the most coveted trophy in all sports. Who will emerge victorious when east meets west? Will youthful enthusiasm win out over determination and experience? Can Steven Stamkos out-duel Jonathan Toews? All of these questions will be answered soon enough. This one’s for all the marbles, and it starts tonight at 8:00 est. But before we delve into the Cup finals, here’s a look back at the conference finals that got us here:

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Marc’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 7 games

Eastern Conference

Marc’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 7 games

Marc: 2-0 teams, 1-1 games
Ryan: 1-1 teams, 2-0 games

Stanley Cup Final Predictions

Photo Credit: by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo Credit: by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 Jonathan Toews – 9G, 9A 18P +/-: +5

Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI

Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI

Steven Stamkos – 7G, 10A 17P +/1: +3

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks
Marc’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 games