If the Florida Panthers had finished the 2014-15 campaign near the bottom of the standings again then GM Dale Tallon might simply be taking the best player available. Armed with the No. 11 pick though, he’s more likely to draft based on the team’s needs, per NHL.com.
In Florida’s case, that means Tallon will likely be selecting a winger.
“Our depth chart is deep up the middle,” Tallon said. “And when you look at our future as far as the back end is concerned, it’s terrific. … Right now if you look at our depth chart, speed and scoring are two things that we really would like to have.”
That might leave him with Mikko Rantanen or Timo Meier, depending on how the draft shakes out. Alternatively, the Panthers are interested in trading into the top 10 if an opportunity presents itself. Tallon is even open to trading the pick outright if he can get an established scorer out of the deal.
“I like to think outside the box, so you never know what we’re going to do,” Tallon said. “It’s a fun part of the job, draft day, the things that can and will go on that you might not have control over. But I like to think outside the box and I like to take some risk, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
The draft will be in the Panthers’ BB&T Center and while Tallon says that doesn’t change anything as far as what he does, there’s always particular interest in the host team’s actions.