The Florida Panthers, perhaps with an air of resolute confidence, stood pat during Sunday's Draft, selecting seven players with little fanfare beyond swapping seventh-round picks with Montreal (Habs' 2013 for FLA's '14).
So while little drama evolved for the Cats over 6 hours, Tallon, Inc. evidently got precisely what they wanted without losing a single asset.
The afternoon began as Colorado selected heavily-favored Nathan MacKinnon with the first-overall selection. Florida's contingent then succeeded in blowing up Twitter by taking 17 year-old Finnish/Russian forward Aleksander Barkov over WHL blueliner Seth Jones (who ultimately fell to Nashville at fourth behind Tampa Bay's selection of Jonathan Drouin).
Vancouver ended up stealing the show - and perhaps the summer - by stunningly dealing goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey for the 9th overall pick (C Bo Horvat), thankfully giving us something to obsess over for months to come.
However, slice it any way you choose and Barkov comes up roses given his pedigree (father was a Russian hockey pro) and performance in the not-to-be-dismissed Finnish Elite League, scoring 48 points (21 goals) in 53 games for Tappara during 2012-13. Keep in mind: he's 17, and played against men on a regular basis. Big men, in a league which is arguably one of the finest outside of North America. Real deal, here.
We'll tie everything together with further info and links in the coming days but the Cats grabbed six other notable talents at various positions throughout the afternoon:
- Ian McCoshen, D (31)
- Evan Cowley, G (92)
- Michael Downing, D (97)
- Matt Buckles, C (98)
- Chris Clapperton, LW (122)
- Josh Brown, D (152)
- MacKenzie Weegar, D (206)
For now, back to the second-overall selection and assorted video goodness (and please forgive me for posting these somewhat out of order; been watching a laptop screen since 1 p.m.)...
Barkov post-draft interview via NHL.com:
More from Barkov via Panthers Official Site:
Dale Tallon speaks post-draft:
Again, more to come soon. And our congrats to all of the new picks!