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2010 NHL Draft

Panthers Go Big With Gudbranson

Friday, 06.25.2010 / 7:40 PM / 2010 NHL Draft
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Panthers Go Big With Gudbranson
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Rank: #4 North American Skater
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Pos: D                     Shoots: Right
Height: 6'4               Weight: 195
Born: 1/7/92           Born In: Ottawa, ON
NHL Player: Shea Weber & Dion Phaneuf
Goal Celebration: "A little fist pump & point to the passer"
Movie: Billy Madison
Sport (other than hockey): Golf and baseball
VIDEO LINKS
  Gudbranson At Luncheon
  Gudbranson At Combine
  Gudbranson & Dad On Hockey Life

By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com

In what turned out to be of little surprise, the Panthers made 6'4 rearguard Erik Gudbranson the third overall pick in the NHL draft Friday night in Los Angeles.

Gudbranson, who along with fellow defenseman Cam Fowler, were the two players most draftniks said the Panthers would take after Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin went one-two to Edmonton and Boston respectively.

Looking for that big, Dion Phaneuf/Chris Pronger type player to go along with offensively gifted Dmitry Kulikov (drafted in first round last year), Panthers GM Dale Tallon decided to go with the 18-year old Kingston Frontenac (OHL).

Tallon, who was looking for a player with lots of character, size, speed and skill, found that in Gudbranson.

"I've never been squeezed so hard by my dad to be honest with you," said Gudbranson after the selection. "And my mom was just ecstatic. My dad broke down in tears. It was a great feeling and it's something I'm never going to forget."

The Ottawa, Ontario native posted 23 points (two goals) while posting 68 penalty minutes in just 41 games for Kingston as he missed time due to a sprained knee ligament and a bout with mononucleosis.

“Gudbranson to me is a guaranteed long-term NHLer," said NHL Central Scouting Director EJ McGuire. "In my opinion, Gudbranson is another Chris Pronger-type, what he brings that (Pronger) really didn't do much of, though, is he'll fight. He is some kind of tough. Chris Pronger is mean and will hit you; Gudbranson will hit you and fight you. Pronger is three inches taller than Gudbranson, so maybe Dion Phaneuf would be an even better comparison"

Right from the get go, the Panthers and Gudbranson seemed like a perfect fit. At the NHL Combine in Toronto earlier this month, the Panthers made the blueliner feel the most comfortable.

"I just met with them at the combine," said Gudbranson Thursday at the top prospect luncheon. "My interview with them was probably the easiest. They're a great bunch of guys. Dale Tallon really made it extremely easy for me, I was a little nervous going into the combine and he made it all the more fun."

Gudbranson did meet with the Panthers after the luncheon for one last meet-and-greet, thus cementing himself as the Panthers choice.

For Gudbranson, it can only be a dream come true as the defenseman thought that Florida could have been a very realistic choice to go, dating back to the Combine.

"I did my research on their team," said Gudbranson. "I felt that with Dmitry Kulikov there, I think I could be a good compliment to him on the backend."

What Gudbranson really liked about being selected by the Panthers was their new GM.

"You see what he did with the Chicago Blackhawks and winning a Stanley Cup and building that team from scratch" said Gudbranson. "I'm really excited to be a Florida Panther now and I feel that this is a team that's going in the right direction. There's no doubt in my mind that I want to be there."

With the Panthers only having newly acquired Denis Wideman on the blueline with a right-handed shot, adding Gudbranson's cannon right handed slap shot gives head coach Peter DeBoer better options on the backend.

But for Gudbranson, he knows that there's a lot of work left to accomplish if he wants to make the 2010-11 team. It just doesn't end with the draft.

"I'm going to go there and compete with the guys that are there and try to earn a spot as much as possible," said Gudbranson. "I'm going to go there and compete and if I have to beat out anybody I will."

UPCOMING EVENTS

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HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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