Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon amassed a staggering 13 picks for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the most in franchise history. Although the Panthers had an abysmal 32-37-13 season, the team owned three first round picks, assuring to reinvigorate the franchise with talent and youth. After employing the likes of Bryan McCabe, Steve Reinprecht, and Cory Stillman in the twilight of their careers, Florida desperately needed impact players at key positions. Read more»
The Florida Panthers have made the playoffs just twice in the last 16 years. In an effort to make the postseason this year, the Panthers added veterans Dany Heatley and Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline. But if the Panthers are going to become a playoff contender on an annual basis, it is the youngsters coming up through their system that need to make a difference in the coming years. Read more»
The Florida Panthers minor league system is teeming with NHL-prospects who are waiting for opportunities on the Florida roster. Florida General Manager Dale Tallon hinted in the past few weeks that he may be looking to trade some of the more veteran forwards on the squad in order to facilitate some of that upward movement. Until then, the AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage are reaping the rewards of having top-notch talent playing throughout their lineup.
Sam Brittain, the sophomore goaltender for the University of Denver, is gearing up for a return to the ice after spending the first half of the season rehabilitating from surgery to repair his knee. Brittain suffered the injury in the WCHA Final Five game against the University of North Dakota on what seemed like an innocuous play, but eventually cost him not only 20-plus games for the Pioneers, but also a unique chance to play for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships.
After playing midget hockey in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, and a season of Junior A hockey in Canmore, Brittain joined the Pioneers. He played 33 games as a freshman, finishing among the NCAA-leading goaltenders after posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.28 goals against average. As of Monday, January 23rd, Brittain has been cleared to begin practicing with the team, and could soon see a return to action.
Hockey’s Future recently had a chance to talk to the Panthers prospect about goaltending, his injury and rehabilitation, and what it has been like watching his team play this fall.
Florida Panthers fans could one day look back at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft as the weekend the proper rebuilding process for the Panthers began. The team’s new General Manager, Dale Tallon, was a busy man as he made 13 selections in the draft. The Panthers stockpiled picks and had three draft choices in each of the first three rounds.
They acquired a first-round pick from Boston a few days prior to the draft, along with Dennis Wideman and a third-round draft pick in 2010, in a deal that sent Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell the other way. They traded that pick at the draft to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the Kings’ first-round pick and a second-round pick. They traded Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to Vancouver for Steve Bernier, prospect Michael Grabner and another first-round pick.
The Panthers only selected one player shorter than 6’0, with size being a reoccurring theme among the Panthers draft choices. They also only selected one European player.