Three questions with Florida Panthers blog Litter Box Cats

Makes it look so easy. - USA TODAY Sports

With the Panthers closing in on the first overall pick in June, we asked a few forward looking questions in of LitterBox Cats Prospects guru Alex Calloway. Who's Tallon likely to select, will Jovanovski return next year and which prospects in the pipeline hold the most promise?

1 - Last time the Lightning played the Panthers, I asked you about Jonathan Huberdeau . He continues to shine and currently leads rookies for scoring and goals, at only age 19. The Globe and Mail ran a piece [link] this week on how professional and "mature" he is off the ice. How does his arrival in Sunrise impact who the Panthers might select in this year's draft as a complement? Or will GM Dale Tallon stick with best player available?

Could go either way. Huberdeau could use a solid center to set him up on the top line, so Nathan MacKinnon makes sense. However Florida's depth on defense is pretty weak, and Seth Jones could be the type of defenseman that's too temping to pass up.

Jonathan Drouin could also be picked, but the Panthers have plenty of wingers in their prospect pool, and unless the Cats get the number three pick, I see them taking Jones or MacKinnon.

2 - Tough news for Ed Jovanovski this week with his decision to undergo season-ending hip surgery. Can you fill us in on what history there is for him with this? Do you buy speculation that his career is over?

I do buy the speculation that he could hang up the skates. Given his age and the possibility of Seth Jones being drafted and making the roster, it makes a lot of sense for his career to end this season. Of course, he only played six games this season and he is the captain, so he thinks he can come back, he will.

Either way, he makes $4.125 Million next season, and the year after.

3 - Which prospects in the system are you most looking forward to joining the NHL roster? Nick Bjusgstad is the obvious name - is he likely to turn pro this year? Others that could go a long way to change the make-up of the team next season?

Rumor is Bjugstad will be graduating a year early and last season was very close to turning pro, so I do believe he will be on the opening night roster next season.

However one that I personally am looking forward to this season is Hobey Baker nominee Corban Knight. The North Dakota forward is very good in the faceoff circle, and has the makings of a pest player that opposing coaches hate.


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