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Florida Panthers win 1st overall pick in 2014 NHL Draft lottery

They pinged the pong, and with a dash of luck, came out on top.

Flipping the script of last year’s Draft Lottery, the Florida Panthers secured the number one overall selection, vaulting weighted favorite and league doormat Buffalo Sabres at the ceremony’s end. For Florida, it marks the fourth time in franchise history that the hockey club possesses the top pick in the draft; taking Panther legend Ed Jovanovski in 1994, the Rick Dudley-led management team traded the choice in both 2002 and 2003, creating a debacle of the Jay Bouwmeester situation and then proceeding to select Nathan Horton in lieu of Ryan Suter, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise and a host of future stars.

Go us.

For the Sabres, conceding the top selection marks yet another loss in a season better resembling duking it out with Floyd Mayweather than an ice hockey campaign. The number two selection ain’t a half-bad consolation prize, however. Beats those participation medals they gave me back at karate tournaments.

The fortunate draw gives General Manager Dale Tallon a wealth of options with which to better the team; heading the draft board, the architect may choose to work the phones, playing off of other teams’ interest, or cash in their pick. All things considered, the candidacy for the number one selection has whittled itself down to a likely trio of centerman Sam Reinhart, left winger Samuel Bennett, and defenseman Aaron Ekblad;  forwards Leon Draisatl and Michael Dal Colle round out the overall top five prospects as dark horse votes.

We’ve got the figurative hockey world in our hands-let’s not pull a Florida, shall we?

Alex Lopez

Alex Lopez

Ridiculously injury-prone Business Administration major who tries to row, enjoys writing, digs rap, appreciates Chance The Rapper a tad bit too much, and loves the Florida Panthers. Spirit animal-Left Shark. Once set a food challenge record at some diner in High Springs, Florida. "Nice beard, dude"-Chadwick Stokes, Dispatch. Also enjoys long walks on the beach, guacamole and doing everything "for the bois".
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