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NHL.com Draft experts have the Cats taking MacKinnon with No. 2 pick.
Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:30 PM ET
By Glenn Odebralski - FloridaPanthers.com / Panthers Insider
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Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones are expected to be top picks in the upcoming Draft. (Courtesy: Christopher Mast)

With 20 days left until the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, NHL.com draft experts have unveiled their latest Mock Drafts and are in agreement on who the Panthers will pick at No. 2.

Despite debate by national media about who goes No. 1 to Colorado, the trio of Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steve Hoffner all have the Avalanche taking the Central Scouting's No. 1 ranked North American Skater, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones. They each follow that up with the No. 2 ranked Central Scouting North American Skater Nathan MacKinnon to the Cats.

After Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he was looking for a player that could contribute right away at the recently completed NHL Combine in Toronto, the NHL.com trio believe that the Halifax Mooseheads center can be the player that can step into the Panthers lineup and form a dynamic duo with Calder finalist Jonathan Huberdeau.

"Dominated the Memorial Cup and proved he can step up at a bigger stage," wrote Hoffner. "A highly competitive star who will be a nice complement to Jonathan Huberdeau in Florida."

Adam Kimelman Mock | Steven Hoffner Mock | Mike G Morreale Mock

"The Panthers want someone who can step right into the lineup," wrote Kimelman in his mock draft. "And this high-end scorer looks ready to do just that."

Setting MacKinnon apart from players like Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov who went three and four in some order to Tampa Bay and Nashville respectively was MacKinnon's season, most particular his Memorial Cup run in which he posted a mind-boggling 13 points, including seven goals in four games as he led Halifax to the championship.

"The most valuable player of the Memorial Cup appears NHL-ready, possessing a spectacular combination of speed and toughness," wrote Morreale. "MacKinnon had 32 goals and 75 points in 44 regular-season games, and seven goals and 13 points in four Memorial Cup games."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 52 17 23 14 40
J. Huberdeau 55 11 29 12 40
J. Jokinen 55 11 27 12 38
V. Trocheck 55 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 55 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 51 11 13 -3 24
A. Ekblad 51 11 13 19 24
B. Campbell 55 5 18 20 23
N. Bjugstad 40 9 10 -3 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .927 2.23
A. Montoya 8 4 1 .926 2.06

 
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