For the fourth time the Florida Panthers have landed the first overall pick in the NHL Draft. They took Ed Jovanovski in 1994 and then traded away the pick in 2002 and 2003.
Exploring all of his options, General Manager Dale Tallon has been shopping around the team’s first overall pick in the upcoming draft.
While last year’s draft was one of the deepest in a decade, this year isn’t believed to have the top end talent of its predecessor. Sam Reinhart, Aaron Ekblad, and Sam Bennett are the top three prospects in this draft, and while they will be solid players in the NHL, it doesn’t appear that Tallon thinks there is a marquee ‘franchise’ player among them that hanging on to the first overall pick is an absolute necessity.
One of the biggest early speculations has been a swap with the Edmonton Oilers, moving them up to number one and sliding the Panthers to the third pick as well as adding a position player (Jordan Eberle is the most common name, though I’m not sure the first overall pick is worth a swap and a 30-goal scorer).
Tallon would be irresponsible if he didn’t at least look to see what he could get in return for the first overall pick. Trading three out of the four first overall picks in team history wouldn’t be a popular move, but moving forward they can’t look at what they did over ten years ago.
If the Panthers can add a solid NHL-ready player and stay in the top six then I don’t see why they shouldn’t explore further on trading the pick.
It is interesting though that he is ‘shopping’ the pick, and not ‘fielding offers’ (there is a difference). At this exact current moment, I believe that the team’s need is too vast and one player – even the first overall pick – won’t fill one need enough to make up others. If they can use the pick to improve in several areas, I’d pull the trigger in a heartbeat.
What are your thoughts on Tallon ‘shopping’ the pick? Do you agree with trading the pick? What would your expectations as far as a return?
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