In building up to June's NHL Entry Draft, this series will look at Florida's performance in each round - from seventh to first - covering the five Drafts from 2005 through 2009, along with any players of note selected after the Panthers' pick(s) in the same round.
As would be expected, the seventh - and final - round of the NHL Entry Draft does not typically turn up much beyond flotsam and jetsam, but Florida did score big with at least one of their five picks since the lockout ended. And Iron Mike can take credit after fumbling a year earlier.
2005: Ottawa, ON Florida General Manager: Mike Keenan
Panthers pick (224): F Zach Bearson, Waterloo (USHL). Currently: out of hockey, but authored a terrific blog on his European adventures while studying abroad; definitely worth a peek. Otherwise, bust.
Later seventh-round notables: Patric Hornqvist (230), by Nashville. Final pick of '05 draft scored 51 points (30 goals) for the Predators in 2009-10. Shrewd dude, that David Poile; this is the type of discovery that makes fans writhe in pain.
2006: Vancouver, BC Florida General Manager: Mike Keenan
Panthers pick (193): G Marc Cheverie, Nanaimo (BCHL).
Currently: signed by Florida. Went 24-4-3 with University of Denver in 2009-10. Hobey Baker candidate, collegiate leader in shutouts, wins, and save percentage. Named Player of the Year by College Hockey News and WCHA; also Inside College Hockey's Goaltender of the Year. Will start next season with ECHL Everblades or AHL Americans. One of Keenan's (few) true diamonds, made only a day after trading Roberto Luongo.
Later seventh-round notables: None even ballpark.
2007: Columbus, OH Florida General Manager: Jacques Martin
Currently: Versatile but (to date) low-scoring forward Watson remains an organization property, entering senior year at Western Michigan University in the fall. Gayduchenko went 11-7-0 in 20 appearances as a backup with KHL's Lokomotiv last season; faces uphill climb considering Florida's depth in goal throughout the system.
Later seventh-round notables: (194) D Carl Gunnarsson, by Toronto.
2008: Ottawa, ON Florida General Manager: Jacques Martin
Panthers pick (190): D Matt Bartkowski, Lincoln (USHL).
Currently: Traded from Florida (along with D Dennis Seidenberg) to Boston Bruins for F Byron Bitz, F Craig Weller, and 2010 second-round pick on March 3rd of this year. Bartkowski will enter junior season at Ohio State University.
Later seventh-round notables: G Joacim Eriksson, by Philadelphia. Poised to fill Sweden's number-one goaltender status upon departure of Florida's Jacob Markstrom this summer, he's a highly-valued piece of the Flyers future.
2009: Montreal, PQ Florida General Manager: Randy Sexton