Florida Panthers Draft Trades Review
Although it is way too early to know how successful the 2021 Panthers draft / trades will be. After a disastrous 2020 draft, Florida management had a lot of work to do to make up for the mistakes they made in 2020 and they believe they did.
The week before the draft, Florida had 8 picks (#19, 41, 42, 65, 110, 169, 176 & 210) and they wanted to add a more picks in the first 3 rounds if possible.
Panthers management had players they wanted to target in each round of the draft and they felt that they needed to acquire additional picks to select as many of these targeted prospects as possible
By the end of the draft through multiple trades Florida ended up with 9 picks in the first 4 rounds #15, 23, 24, 29, 41, 61, 75, 110 and 124.
Below is a breakdown of each trade, the draft pick will be broken down in a subsequent article.
Seattle gets: Frans Nielsen, Lassi Thomson, Noel Gunler, Buf 1st, 2022 and NYI 2nd 2021.
Florida gets: Phil Kessel and Washington (formerly Ottawa) 1st 2021 (24)
Breakdown: This trade seems expensive at first glance but when you break it down it’s seems like a fair trade.
Buf 1st and NYI 2nd for #24 and Thomson and Gunler for Kessel and dumping Nielsen’s contract.
Seattle gets: Matt Duchesne
Florida gets: LAK 2nd 2022
Breakdown: Duchesne was a major disappointment in 2020 and Florida management jumped at the opportunity to move on, he simply wasn’t a fit in Florida.
Arizona gets: Roman Josi
Florida gets: David Krejci, Cam Fowler and Arizona 1st 2021 (#15)
Breakdown: Trading Josi after acquiring him back from the NYI was a tough decision but being able to add #15 (Svechkov) Krejci and Fowler provided more quality depth to the Panthers franchise.
Krejci gives the team the 2C it was looking to add to the team short term while the team’s prospects (Tomasino & Pinto) develop.
Montreal gets: Victor Olofsson
Florida gets: NJ 2021 1st # 29 and MTL 4th # 124.
Breakdown: Trading Olofsson wasn’t easy, he has the potential to be a perennial top 6 W and he’s on the last year of his ELC ($782,850) and about to become an RFA in 2022 ($3 M range) and Panthers management wasn’t sure if they wanted to pay him $3 M a year.
At 29 they expected a player ranked earlier on their list to fall and if nobody fell the plan was to take Aatu Raty.
Winnipeg gets: #19
Florida gets: # 23 and #75
Breakdown: When Winnipeg GM reached out to trade up 4 spots the player Florida was about to draft #19 was Corson Ceulemans (which they drafted at 23), Florida management decided that it was worth the gamble to trade down and acquire a mid 3rd since there were a few players they had in mind in that range.
New Jersey get: LAK 2022 2nd
Florida gets: NJ 2021 2nd #61
Breakdown: Florida had been trying to acquire a 2nd round pick at the end of the 2nd round hoping that one of the following D would be available (Aleksi Heimosalmi, Sean Behrens, Stanislav Svozil and Benjamin Roger) but when Matthew Knies was still on the board at 61 they decided to pull the trigger on Knies, even though Rogers was still available.
Ottawa gets: # 65
Florida gets: $5,000,000
Breakdown: This trade hurts because the target at #65 was Ben Gaudreau and he was still there, but $5,000,000 for a cash poor team like Florida was just too much money to pass up and with #75 still to come up they decided to take the chance that Gaudreau would still be there (unfortunately he was taken with the next pick at #66) and if he wasn’t they could still acquire another goalie at #75, #110 or #124.
Buffalo gets: #169, 176 & 210
Florida gets: $2,000,000
Breakdown: Going into the off season the plan was to trade these picks for cash, not because they didn’t think they could find quality prospects with those picks but as mentioned before, Florida is cash poor right now and they needed some cash to be a player in the upcoming free agency frenzy.