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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Offseason Open Forum

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Cats re-sign defenseman Kevin Connauton

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Florida Panthers have re-signed defenseman Kevin Connauton to a one-year, two-way contract extension beginning in the 2021-22 season. Connauton, 31, appeared in a total of seven games with Florida this season, recording one assist. Over his seven games with the Panthers, Connauton posted a +4 rating, 12 hits, one fighting major and three blocked shots while averaging 14:13 TOI per game.

2021 Entry Draft

The 2021 NHL Draft Lottery will set the order for the first 15 picks of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft when it is held tonight at 7 p.m. ET. (NBCSN and NHLN). The first round of the draft will be held on July 23, with rounds 2-7 taking place on July 24.

The Buffalo Sabres, who finished last in the regular-season standings, hold the best odds (16.6 percent) of winning the first overall pick. The Anaheim Ducks have the second-best odds (12.1 percent). The expansion Seattle Kraken, who begin play next season, have the third-best odds (10.3 percent), equal to the New Jersey Devils, who finished with the third-worst record in the regular season.

Two drawings will be held, to determine the top two picks in the draft. Since 2016, the first three selections had been determined by the lottery. The change was made to reduce the likelihood of the team with the worst record dropping in the draft order. That means that Buffalo will pick no worse than three in the 2021 draft.

Odds to win the first pick

1. Buffalo Sabres, 16.6 percent

2. Anaheim Ducks, 12.1 percent

3. Seattle Kraken, 10.3 percent

4. New Jersey Devils, 10.3 percent

5. Columbus Blue Jackets, 8.5 percent

6. Detroit Red Wings, 7.6 percent

7. San Jose Sharks, 6.7 percent

8. Los Angeles Kings, 5.8 percent

9. Vancouver Canucks, 5.4 percent

10. Ottawa Senators, 4.5 percent

11. Arizona Coyotes, 3.1 percent

12. Chicago Blackhawks, 2.7 percent

13. Calgary Flames, 2.2 percent

14. Philadelphia Flyers, 1.8 percent

15. Dallas Stars, 1.4 percent

16. New York Rangers, 1.0 percent

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning opened up a two-game lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with another 2-1 victory at PNC Arena.

Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli scored the goals for the Lightning, while Andrei Svechnikov scored, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves for the Hurricanes.

More at Raw Charge and Canes Country

Tonight’s games

Game 1: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets 7:30 p.m. NBCSN

Game 2: Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche 10 p.m. NBCSN (Avs lead 1-0)