Photo Credit: www.hockeysfuture.com
WOW! The Florida Panthers made the first “intriguing” pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. It seemed all along that they would take either Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon. When MacKinnon went #1 to Colorado it seemed that Jones was the guy who would be playing alongside Erik Gudbranson and the Panthers for years to come. Dale Tallon decided to take his first ever overseas first rounder in Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov who some have described as the most complete player in the draft.

Barkov made his professional debut at 16 for Tappara in Finland. He put up 48 points in 58 games this past season. He seems to be an offensive powerhouse, which will help the Panthers who scored only 2.27 goals per game, which was tied with Nashville for last in the NHL. The Panthers however, passed up on Seth Jones, who at one time was believed to be the consensus #1 overall pick. Jones is 6’4” with great mobility and can also help offensively. Jones was practically gift wrapped for Dale Tallon as Jones could’ve been a star for the Panthers for years to come. Jonathan Drouin was also available, who is a terrific playmaker with great offensive ability. This pick also forecasts the end of Stephen Weiss’s 11 years in South Florida. The Panthers are also believed to be involved in the Vincent Lecavalier sweepstakes as they could use him to help with their lackluster offense. Barkov has been called “the most interesting man in the draft,” and this pick is very reminiscent of that nickname.

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