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Panthers GM Tallon: ‘It’s a better draft than we thought’

USA Hockey Press Conference

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Dale Tallon, an advisor to the 2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team is introduced at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 29, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will have some tough decisions to make on draft day. One of those choices will be what to do with the No. 1 overall pick. One thing he may not have counted on was the quality of talent available this year.

Harvey Fialkov of The Sun Sentinel shares Tallon’s thoughts on this year’s draft class and he’s a bit surprised at how good it appears to be.

“A lot of them are NHL-ready,” Tallon said. “It’s a better draft than we thought based on what we saw in the spring. There’s a lot of good players in the first round and we should get two good players [at No. 1] and at 32. It’s exciting; we’ll do well.”

While Tallon talks about getting two good players with their picks, he’s been fielding calls for the first overall selection and may deal out of that spot or trade down twice to maximize a return. He’s made no bones about shopping the pick around even though they really like defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

Tallon talking up the talent level of the draft could be a sly means to get a few more teams calling them about deals. As if having the first pick overall wouldn’t be enough to do that already, the Panthers are poised to be very active in Philadelphia.

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