Reporting Tim Kephart
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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers entered the 2013 season full of hope. But between injuries and other problems, the Panthers finished with the worst record in hockey. Still, if it wasn’t for bad luck, the Panthers may not have any luck at all.
The NHL held its annual draft lottery Monday and Florida had the best shot of getting the number one overall pick. But, instead the Colorado Avalanche hit the jackpot of the number one overall pick, despite having just an 18.8 percent shot of pulling off the feat.
The Panthers had the best odds at 25 percent, but instead will pick second overall with the Tampa Bay Lightning picking third.
So who might be the first player off the board for the Avalanche? According to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, defenseman Seth Jones is the top ranked North American player. Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones.
According to NHL.com’s three mock drafts, the Panthers are expected to select center Nathan MacKinnon of Halifax in the QMJHL. MacKinnon is described by one expert as “the most gifted offensive player in the draft.”
The Panthers can team MacKinnon with this year’s rookie Jonathan Huberdeau to have a young, dynamic scoring line to develop around.
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