Hockey Wilderness Community 2011 NHL Mock Draft: Florida Panthers

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Just two picks in, and already, we have already had the type of craziness we expect from the NHL. Yes, yesterday's poll completely fell apart, due to issues no one can explain nor fix. To the Avs fans who stopped by and voted, we thank you, and apologize for the poor execution on the poll. 

From reading the comments, though, we have a strong sense that Avs fans want Gabriel Landeskog, so that is who we are awarding to the Avs. In Landeskog they get a bog forward who would look rather nice on a line with Matt Duchene. Good, that is, unless you are the rest of the Northwest division. 

Thus far, we have these results:

1. Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2. Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog

Next up are the wily Florida Panthers. Trading away every player they could and loading up on picks and prospects, the Panthers are, once again, in full on rebuild mode. Asking Wild fans, you can bet you would get plenty of people who wish the Wild would do the same thing. 

For now, the Panthers get the glory of a third overall pick, with the two best forwards off the board. Make the jump to help us pick for the Panthers. Pray to the hockey gods the gremlins leave our poll alone. As a back up, consider listing your pick in the comment section as well.

With Landeskog going to the Avs, the Panthers have an interesting choice to make. They are in a market where they need a star to market ala Steven Stamkos. At this point in the mock draft, the Panthers are faced with taking the top defenseman, and best available player, or letting him slip again and taking a forward that they may be able to market. 

Sean Couturier and Johnathan Huberdeau would fit the bill of that star forward, with Couturier tallying 96 points two seasons in a row, and Hubedeau breaking the century mark at 105 last season. Both have a little filling out to do, but both are big men in the making. 

Still, Adam Larsson is NHL ready, and still on the board. The Panthers need a franchise player, and Larsson is that guy. That is, if they can get him to re-sign in free agency. Building from the defense out is always a solid way to build a winner, and the Panther s cannot do better than Larsson. He is a great long term strategy pick, and is as close to a sure bet as they are going to get.

While Panther fans may want a flashy offensive guy, Adam Larsson is the likely pick. At least, that's what I say. What do you say?

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