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2024 Stanley Cup Champions

Florida Panthers Go Into NHL Draft without a First or Second



Florida panthers
The 2024 NHL Draft will be held at Sphere in Las Vegas starting with the first round tonight. // Photo courtesy

Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito has not had much time to work on the NHL Draft.

Zito has been, well, preoccupied.

That does not mean the Panthers are not ready for the draft when it opens tonight at 7 (ESPN) in Las Vegas.

Florida does not have a first or a second-round pick in this year’s draft — the first-round goes to Philadelphia in the 2022 Claude Giroux trade, the second-round to Arizona/Utah to unload Anton Stralman’s salary in 2021.

The Panthers will not pick, barring a trade, until No. 97 in the third round sometime on Saturday afternoon.

With picks in each of the final five rounds, the Panthers will be looking to bolster a prospect pool which has grown thin over the past few years.

Mackie Samoskevich, Florida’s first-round pick in 2021, is expected to join the Panthers this coming season; so, too, is Justin Sourdif, a second-round pick in 2020.

The Panthers could be active at the draft when it comes to trades.

Florida goes into Monday with $19.5 million in salary cap space, 11 unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents.

For More FHN Coverage of the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers:

  • Stanley Cup Championship Parade, Fort Lauderdale: Sunday, 11 a.m.
  • NHL Draft, Las Vegas: Friday-Saturday
  • NHL Free Agency: Monday
  • Florida Panthers Development Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Early July
  • Florida Panthers Training Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Mid-September
  • Florida Panthers Preseason: Sept. 22-Oct. 5
  • Florida Panthers Opening Night/Banner Unveiling: TBA

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