With the NHL Draft quickly approaching, the Florida Panthers prepare to make their first selection with the 11th pick in the first round right in their own backyard at BB&T Center in Sunrise.
Today we take a glimpse at some notable NHL players in the league drafted at 11 as well as some Panthers alumni to be selected with the 11th pick.
C Filip Forsberg - Nashville Predators
Drafted: 2012 – Washington Capitals
The top-rated European skater in his draft year, Forsberg has made an early impact with the Nashville Predators in his first full NHL season. The 20-year old center was one of the leading rookie scorers in the NHL during the 2014-15 season, notching 63 points (26-37–63) in 82 games.
D Ryan Ellis - Nashville Predators
Drafted: 2009 – Nashville Predators
The 5'10" defender earned a full-time NHL spot in 2013-14 where he notched 27 points (6-21–27) in 80 games. Playing in 58 games during the 2014-15 season, Ellis managed to reach a new career-high in goals (9), while matching his previous point total of 27.
C Brandon Sutter - Pittsburgh Penguins
Drafted: 2007 – Carolina Hurricanes
Part of the storied Sutter hockey family, the son of Brent Sutter was selected by Carolina at 11 in 2007. The 26-year old finished his third season with the Penguins this past season, recording 21 goals. His goal total tied his career-high in 2009-10 with Carolina.
G Jonathan Bernier – Los Angeles Kings
Drafted: 2006 – Toronto Maple Leafs
The former AHL All-Star developed in the Los Angeles Kings system and won a Stanley Cup with the big club in 2012. The 26-year old goaltender played a career-high 58 games for the Maple Leafs this past season.
C Anze Kopitar - Los Angeles Kings
Drafted: 2005 – Los Angeles Kings
Part of the Kings’ rebuild of the mid-2000’s, Kopitar has developed into a high-level player in the NHL. The Slovenian-born center has recorded 60 points in eight of his nine NHL seasons and notched 42 points in 47 games during the shortened 2012-13 season.
C Jeff Carter- Los Angeles Kings
Drafted: 2003 – Philadelphia Flyers
Selected in 2003 by Philadelphia, Carter became one of the team’s top offensive players during his time in the City of Brotherly Love. Since joining Los Angeles, Carter has recorded three consecutive 20-goal seasons and has won two Stanley Cups.
RW Jarome Iginla – Colorado Avalanche
Drafted: 2007 – Dallas Stars
A trade to Calgary only a few months after of being drafted shaped the career of Iginla. Spending 16 seasons with the Flames, Iginla became one of the top goal scorers of his generation. With over 1,300 games of experience under his belt, the 37-year old still remains a scoring threat, most recently netting 29 goals for the Avalanche during the 2014-15 season.
D Keith Ballard – Minnesota Wild
Drafted: 2002 – Buffalo Sabres
Played with Florida: 2008-10
In his two seasons with Florida, Ballard never missed a game, playing in a combined 164 consecutive contests.
G Trevor Kidd – Retired
Drafted: 1990 – Calgary Flames
Played with Florida: 1999-2002
Florida’s starting goaltender before the Roberto Luongo era began in the early 2000's, Kidd was a highly touted goaltender during his draft year, leading the Spokane Chiefs to a Memorial Cup Championship. Kidd played 387 NHL games and finished with a 140-162-52 record, .901 save percentage and 2.84 goals against average.
C Mike Sillinger – Retired
Drafted: 1989 – Detroit Red Wings
Played with Florida: 1999-01
Despite a short stint in Florida, the journeyman center played 17 NHL seasons and 1,049 games for 12 different NHL teams.
D Randy Moller –Retired
Drafted: 1981 – Quebec Nordiques
Played with Florida: 1994-95
These days “Red Deer” is best known among Panthers fans for his radio play-by-play role for the team, but Moller played 14 NHL seasons, posting 1,692 penalty minutes in 815 games.
Click here to download the complete history of the 11th pick