After two consecutive years with a combined 23 selections, the Florida Panthers took a deep breath, sat back in their chairs, and relaxed a bit at the 2012 NHL Draft. With the top-rated group of prospects in the league, the Panthers looked to add the best value pieces with their five picks, and opted to exercise their option to relinquish their 2012 second-round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers instead of next year's second-rounder (a legacy from the Kris Versteeg trade in 2011). The Panthers managed to select some intriguing players, including first-rounder Michael Matheson, and added a lot of blistering speed to their already overflowing pool of talented prospects.
The 2011 NHL Draft was a banner year for the QMJHL, with five of their top players being selected in the first round and a total of 22 players hearing their name called over the course of the entire weekend. But unfortunately for the league, the draft class for 2012 doesn't appear to be as strong, with only one player considered to be a lock to be selected in the first round and not much in the way of depth behind him.