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We all know the drill: the Cats have a 14.2% chance of landing the first overall pick, retaining the third, or sliding to fourth in June's Entry Draft. Unrelated: today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 service module explosion. Make of that what you will. Moving along...
No matter what goes down tonight, the Panthers - with stockpiled assets - have a strong opportunity to make some serious noise in L.A.
Via the NHL, here are results from previous draft lotteries (and Florida's glorious history):
Year Selected Effect On Draft Order Player Selected 1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg 1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips 1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton 1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier 1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl * 2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro 2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk 2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash ** 2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury *** 2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin 2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby 2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson 2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane 2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos 2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall. (Whale4ever note: MUAHAHAHAHAHA!)
** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.
Thanks for joining us for an event we haven't had to cover - for better or worse - in a mighty long time. Bring on the balls...