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Draft delay pays off for MacKenzie Weegar and the Florida Panthers



Mackenzie weegar florida panthers
MacKenzie Weegar celebrates being drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2013 with his uncle (and agent) Matthew Ebbs and his mother Louise. / Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Weegar

MacKenzie Weegar vividly remembers being one of the last groups of people remaining in the lower bowl of Newark’s Prudential Center as the 2013 NHL Draft was finishing up.

The seventh round of the draft was wrapping up so Weegar decided the day had been long enough.

“We had been there four hours already,” Weegar recalled on Monday. “It was time to go. There were only five or six picks left. It just wasn’t going to happen.”

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Then an announcement came from the podium: The Florida Panthers, who did not have a pick in that seventh round, had traded back into the draft by making a deal with Montreal.

“I said, ‘wait a second.’ I figured that, right there, was my last chance,” Weegar said.

It was not a headline-making trade, Florida swapping seventh-round picks with Montreal to get back into the draft.

Only it turned out to be a big deal to MacKenzie Weegar. It was a pretty good trade for the Panthers as well. 

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