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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.

Top 10 Moments Of The 2011-2012 Season: #5

Before the start of the 2011-2012 NHL season being a fan of the Florida Panthers was a difficult task. For the past 12 years the Cats and their fan base seemed to be the laughing-stock of the league. That was until new owner Cliff Viner, GM Dale Tallon, and the rest of the new look Panthers changed everyone’s opinion about Florida by finally putting a winning product on the ice after a very long wait. Of course since the Cats did do plenty of winning this season they picked up a lot of points in the standings, which makes moment #5 on our top 10 list of the most memorable moments of the 2011-2012 season possible.

#5 – Panthers end 12 year playoff drought by losing to Washington (April 5th, 2012)

It is hard to imagine a professional sports team being happy after a loss, but that is exactly how the entire Panthers locker room felt after losing 4-2 to the Washington Capitals. Why was Florida so happy? Because thanks to the Flyers beating Buffalo in regulation the Cats had earned enough points to clinch their first playoff spot in 12 years.

“I don’t care (about the loss). I couldn’t care how it happened.” Said an excited Stephen Weiss. “All you got to do is get in, and anything can happen.”

The Panthers were not the only team scoreboard watching in this game. Their opponents, the Washington Capitals, were also fighting for their playoff lives. With the Capitals winning and the Sabres losing to Philadelphia it meant that both clubs in this game were locked into the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, a rare event enjoyed by both Washington and Florida fans in attendance at the Verizon Center. The video below shows the reaction from the pro-Capitals crowd when the standings are shown on the board during the final minute of the game.

Also, just as a little note about the ranking of this moment, we would have ranked it higher in our top ten if Florida would have won the game. Clinching a playoff spot after a 12 year drought is huge, but at the same time the loss put a small damper on the celebration. Thankfully it all worked out in the end though, and we are positive that the final four moments left to be revealed on the site are better than this one.

Be sure to check out the following links and come back tomorrow for the next installment of our top 10 moments of the 2011-2012 Florida Panthers season.

NHL.com recap of moment #5

Litter Box Cats recap of moment #5

Stats from moment #5

Photos from moment #5

Source(s): Litter Box Cats, NHL

Oilers Win Third Straight Draft Lottery

The Edmonton Oilers may have issues winning on the ice but they certainly know how to win when it comes to the draft lottery. The NHL held their annual draft lottery earlier this evening and the Oilers came out on top for the third year in a row, even though the Columbus Blue Jackets had the best chance of winning. After tonight’s lottery the draft order for the bottom 14 teams shapes up like this:

2012 NHL Draft Order

1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. New York Islanders
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. Minnesota Wild
8. Carolina Hurricanes
9. Winnipeg Jets
10. Tampa Bay Lightning
11. Washington Capitals (From Colorado)
12. Buffalo Sabres
13. Dallas Stars
14. Calgary Flames

The remaining draft order of the first round will be determined after the playoffs are finished.