Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.
The Florida Panthers family is about to get a little larger.
The Panthers are currently slated to make a total of five selections at this week's NHL Draft, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24.
At last year's draft, seven new players were added to Florida's pool of talented prospects, including forwards Henrik Borgstorm (23rd overall), Adam Mascherin (38th overall) and Maxim Mamin (175th overall).
After falling back one spot during last month's NHL Draft Lottery, the Panthers enter the draft with the 10th overall selection for just the fourth time in franchise history. In addition to their first-round pick, Florida also holds picks in the second round, third round, fifth round and sixth round.
Need a place to watch this year's event? We've got you covered.
There will be a free-to-attend watch party at Bokamper's in Plantation, FL for the draft's first round on Friday, with the activities kicking off at 5 p.m. In addition to trivia, games and some great meal deals, Panthers Alumni Billy Lindsay, Viktor E. Ratt and the ROAR Corps will all be in attendance.
For exclusive draft articles, information and more, keep an eye on our Draft Central page throughout the week.
Panthers Selections at the 2017 NHL Draft
Round 1 - 10th overall
Round 2 - 40th overall
Round 3 - 65th overall
Round 5 - 133rd overall
Round 6 - 184th overall
How to Watch
Live on 560 WQAM
Friday, June 23 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Saturday, June 24 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Friday, June 23 7:00PM - NBCSN, Sportsnet
Saturday, June 24 10:00AM - NHL Network, Sportsnet
The NHL will officially welcome its newest franchise into the fold when the Las Vegas Golden Knights announce their inaugural roster at the NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 21.
In order to fill their initial roster of at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies, with a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season, the Golden Knights will select one player from each team during the league's first expansion draft in 17 years.
On Sunday, the Panthers announced that forwards Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck, defensemen Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle, and goaltender James Reimer would be protected from Vegas.
All first- and second-year professional players, such as defenseman Michael Matheson, and unsigned draft choices, such as 2016 first-round pick Henrik Borgstrom, are exempt from the expansion draft.
So which Panther will be heading from Sunrise to Sin City? Tune in to find out.
For the past six seasons, assistant athletic trainer Tommy Alva has been one of several unsung heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes for the Panthers.
In this role, Alva is responsible for the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of player injuries and assisting with the overall medical and training programs of the organization.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Alva spent three seasons as head athletic trainer for the Atlanta Thrashers. Before that, he served as the assistant athletic trainer for the Dallas Stars (2003-07) and head athletic trainer for the American Hockey League's Norfolk Admirals (2007-08).
On March 14, 2017, the Panthers honored Alva for working his 1,000th NHL game during a pre-game ceremony at the BB&T Center before hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last week, however, he was recognized once again, this time by the distinguished Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society.
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
It might be the offseason, but the Panthers are always active in the community.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- The architect of two of the most successful expansion franchises in NHL history, Panthers Alternate Governor Bill Torrey recently sat down for a special Q&A with FloridaPanthers.com to discuss the expansion draft process.
-- Panthers President & CEO Matthew Caldwell recently used a push-up challenge to help four local high school kids prepare for college.
-- It was around the 17th overall pick that Mike Matheson started to feel like his name might be called during the 2012 NHL Draft. "You could tell that we were all getting a little bit nervous around that pick," he said. Learn about that moment and more directly from the 23-year-old defenseman in our latest "My Draft Day" interview.
-- What does Bob Boughner have in mind for the Panthers the next season? Find out in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Florida's latest bench boss.