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Going Offensive With The Late Round Picks

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com


Starting Saturday with just three picks in the last six rounds, Florida wanted to add more depth to the system. They did just that as they doubled their amount, picking six more players to go along with first-rounder Dmitry Kulikov.

After taking the defensive bluechip, the Cats focused on the forward position, most notably at the pivot position.

Taking center Drew Shore with their second-rounder (44th overall), Florida followed that up with Josh Burkholz (67th) in the third round, using the pick they acquired along with Jordan Leopold from Calgary for Jay Bouwmeester on the right winger.

The Cats then made a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Florida received a fourth-round pick (107th overall) and fifth-rounder (138th overall) in this year's draft from the Kings in exchange for a 2010 third round pick.

The Lowdown On Wilson
Left Wing: 6-2, 199 pounds
Owen Sound (OHL)
DOB: 3-16-91 – Barrie, ON, Canada
Final rank: 66. Midterm rank: 66 (NA-S).
With the 107th pick, the Panthers selected Owen Sound left winger Garrett Wilson. At 6'2 and 200lbs, Wilson was ranked 66th overall by Central Scouting among North American skaters.

"I've never been to Florida," said Wilson about his selection. "I'm really excited about getting a chance."

The Barrie, Ontario native has "size and is a rangy winger who has a good nose for the net" according to Sound head coach Mark Reed.

"His ability to get open and find loose pucks makes him dangerous in that area. Garrett is a solid performer defensively, is positionally strong and has a shown a great ability in all areas to give a second and third effort. He is coachable and is well respected by his teammates. Plays on all special teams. Garrett has a great passion for the game. Garrett needs to continue to work on his strength and improve his stride.”

Possibly affecting his draft status was a slew foot penalty against Dan Kelly of the Kitchener Rangers early in the season that cost him 15 games.

"In the back of my mind I thought it might effect me somehow," said Wilson. "It was definitely hard sitting out 15 games early in the season. I started off pretty good. But I think I came back from it pretty good."
 
"I definitely have to improve on my skating and getting bigger and stronger. It's going to be interesting to try and make the next step."

The Lowdown On Knight
Center: 6-1, 180 pounds
Okotoks (AJHL)
DOB: 9-10-90 – Oliver, BC, Canada
Final rank: 64. Midterm rank: N/A (NA-S)
Using their own pick in the fifth round, the Cats went the center route in selecting Corban Knight with the 135th selection.

Knight, Central Scouting's 64th overall ranked skater (unranked at midseason), led all rookies and finished eighth in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with 72 points (34-38-72) in 61 games. He also finished tied for third in playoff goals (10), despite Okotoks being knocked out in the second round.

"It went really well," said Knight of his rookie season. "I had a good year but a lot of credit goes to the organization."

One of six children, he'll get some very good tutiledge in his next step of training. After spending another year in Okotoks, he'll attend the University of North Dakota.

"When I went down (to North Dakota) in January, I met Derrick Lapoint," said Knight. "It was great meeting him and it's a great school."

The Lowdown On Megan
Center: 6-1, 182 pounds
South Kent School (HS-CT)
DOB: 3-28-91 – St. Louis Park, MN.
Final rank: 43. Midterm rank: 33 (NA-S)
Three picks later, with the second pick they received from LA, the Panthers went back to the pivot position, this time selecting Wade Megan.

"I had an interview (with Florida) Friday morning," said Megan. "But I really didn't have any idea where I would go."

Megan, ranked 123 among North-American skaters has put up impressive numbers in two seasons at South Kent School, a boarding school in western Connecticut. In 2006-07, the 6'1" Canton, NY native had 53 points (24 goals) in 34 games. Then this past season he had 63 points (27 goals) in 32 games.

Hockey is in Megan's blood. His dad played hockey at Bowling Green and he grew up in Lake Placid, New York.

"It's a hockey town," he said. "High school hockey was very big there."

Megan is committed to play at Boston University.
 
The Lowdown On Timmins
Center: 6-0, 193 pounds
Windsor (OHL)
DOB: 9-11-89 – Hamilton, ON, Canada
Final rank: N/A Midterm rank: N/A (NA-S)
Florida used their last pick of the draft (165 overall in the sixth round) on their fourth center of the day, picking Scott Timmins who played for the Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires.

Timmins racked up 73 points (35 goals) in 66 games split between the Kitchener Rangers and Spitfires. He then had 16 points including six goals in 20 games as the Spitfires worked their way through the OHL playoffs and onto the Memorial Cup Championship.

Panthers head coach knows Timmins very well, having coached him during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons in Kitchener.

"He has speed and character and knows how to win back-to-back OHL championships with Kitchener and Windsor," said DeBoer.
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