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:
To see the full list of skaters and goaltenders from North America and Europe, click here.
Round 1 Draft Order
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.
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.
With the new collective bargaining agreement finally in place information for the upcoming shortened season is coming out fast. Late last night the 2013, 48 game schedule was released for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Later that evening the Florida Panthers also officially announced their one week training camp roster, which contains 32 players, making for a much shorter list than that of a normal pre-season squad.
Camp began this morning with player physicals and media events, and will continue until Friday, January 18th. Players will hit the ice starting tomorrow, January 14th, at 10:00 AM EST for their first practice. The Panthers will hold an inter-squad scrimmage at 7:00 PM EST on Wednesday, January 16th, at the Saveology.com Iceplex. All training camp events, including Wednesday’s scrimmage, are open to the general public.
2013 Florida Panthers Training Camp Roster:
4 – Keaton Ellerby
9 – Stephen Weiss
11 – Jonathan Huberdeau
12 – Jack Skille
13 – Mike Santorelli
14 – Tomas Fleischmann
17 – Filip Kuba
18 – Shawn Matthias
19 – Scottie Upshall
20 – Sean Bergenheim
22 – George Parros
23 – Tyson Strachan
25 – Jerred Smithson
27 – Alex Kovalev *
30 – Scott Clemmensen
32 – Kris Versteeg
35 – Jacob Markstrom
40 – Marek Svatos *
41 – James Wright
42 – Quinton Howden
43 – Mike Weaver
44 – Erik Gudbranson
50 – Drew Shore
51 – Brian Campbell
52 – Jon Rheault *
55 – Ed Jovanovski
57 – Marcel Goc
60 – Jose Theodore
62 – Michael Caruso
72 – Alexander Petrovic
82 – Tomas Kopecky
88 – Peter Mueller
– Alex Kovalev, Marek Svatos, and Jon Rheault are all participating in Florida’s camp on a tryout basis.
– Panthers fans should notice that a familiar name is missing from the roster, Dmitry Kulikov. The Florida defenseman is currently a restricted free agent and cannot play for the Cats until he signs a new contract.
– Head coach Kevin Dineen said that he will be choosing a captain for the Panthers before their season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, January 19th.
– Sean Bergenheim, Marcel Goc, and Erik Gudbranson are injured. Gudbranson is still recovering from shoulder surgery and has not been cleared yet while the extent of Bergenheim and Goc’s injuries are unknown at this point.
– Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that Florida hopes to have Gudbranson back in the lineup within two to three weeks.
Keep checking back with Sunshine State Hockey for all of the latest Florida Panthers and NHL news.
It took them 113 grueling days but the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players Association have finally reached a deal on a new, 10 year, collective bargaining agreement. The news broke early Sunday morning, around 5:30 AM, after a marathon meeting between the league and PA. Details are still coming in, which means the official start date for the delayed 2012-2013 season is still unknown at this time.
Information about the new CBA is still coming in as well. This is what we know so far from various sources:
– 10 Year length with an opt-out clause after eight years.
– $64.3 million salary cap and $44 million salary floor in year two.
– Salary variance on contracts year to year cannot change more than 35 per cent and in the final year cannot change more than 50 per cent of the first year.
– Contract limit of seven years for new players (UFA’s) and eight years for current players (re-signing).
– Revenue sharing at $200 million plus a $60 million growth fund.
– New draft lottery giving all 14 non-playoff teams a chance at the first overall selection.
– Changes in rules for sup. discipline. Darren Dreger: Shanahan 1st, appeal with Bettman 2nd. For six or more games neutral third party will decide if necessary.
Various media outlets are also reporting that NHL players will participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic games, but that is not included in the CBA.
Keep checking back with Sunshine State Hockey for more information as it becomes available.
There is so much going on with the National Hockey League, the NHLPA, and potential lockout we figured it was time to take another trip around the net. Just like with previous installments of this article we will feature posts from other writers and sites relating to the current hot topic. Of course everyone knows that the biggest news in the hockey community is the lockout. Sadly the only thing fans can do at this point is wait and hope that this does not last the entire season like it did in 2005.
Panthers Preparing For Season That Might Not Come – The Sun Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov published multiple articles regarding the Florida Panthers and their take on the current lockout situation. This is the first.
Weiss: Playing Elsewhere ‘Has Crossed My Mind’ – More from Harvey Fialkov, this time in video form.
Where Will Luongo Land? Former #FlaPanthers Goalie Heads Back To Vancouver – George Richards explains that even with the league on the verge of another lockout goaltender Roberto Luongo is still looking for a new place to call home.
A Look Back At The Latest Work Stoppages In Pro Sports – TSN published an article this week highlighting the most recent lockouts from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
Gary Bettman: ‘This Is Very Hard And I Feel Terrible About it’ – Puck Daddy’s own Greg Wyshynski reports that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has feelings. Wait, what?
How To Explain NHL Lockout To Your Non-Hockey Friends: Puck Daddy’s Guide – The folks behind Yahoo! sports’ Puck Daddy blog have put together a humorous guide for hockey fans and their non-hockey friends.
Owners Know Fans Will Return – ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who seems to have no knowledge about the sport of hockey, blames hardcore fans for the lockout.
NHLPA Seeks Ruling To Make NHL Lockout Illegal In Quebec – TSN reports that instead of putting their complete focus on a solution for all 30 teams some members of the NHLPA are trying to block the lockout in different parts of Canada, including Quebec.