The Panthers added two goalies on the second and final day of the NHL Draft in Sunrise.
They just didn’t get the one they really wanted.
General manager Dale Tallon said the Panthers were hot on a deal with the New York Rangers for goaltender Cam Talbot and were pretty confident they were going to land the talented 28-year-old.
The Rangers instead sent Talbot to Edmonton in exchange for three draft picks (in the second, third and seventh round).
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New York general manager Glen Sather was the coach and general manager during the Oilers’ glory years. There were reports that Sather could have traded Talbot for a first-round pick before the draft started but he held on to him until the draft’s second day.
Florida was offering a collection of draft picks (believed to be its two in the third round as well as one in the fifth) and, according to the New York Post, restricted free agent Jimmy Hayes.
Hayes’ younger brother Kevin just completed his rookie season with the Rangers. Jimmy Hayes scored a career-high 19 goals for the Panthers last season.
“We were one of the finalists — it was down to the wire,” Tallon said. “It was obviously between us and Edmonton. There were four or five in the mix and it came down to the two of us. I guess they wanted Cam to play out west, so that didn’t work in our favor. It just didn’t happen.”
Talbot wasn’t the only NHL goalie moved on Saturday, although Tallon said Florida wasn’t in on Vancouver’s Eddie Lack.
Lack, Roberto Luongo’s former backup with the Canucks, was shipped to Carolina for a third- and seventh-round pick.
Although Florida has Luongo under contract for the next seven seasons, Tallon was looking at Talbot as the “heir apparent.”
Last season, Talbot went 16-4-3 as he started 23 of 25 games in which Henrik Lundqvist was out with an injury.
“We want Al Montoya to come back and play well,” Tallon said of Luongo’s current backup, who is signed through next season.
“But we’re not just looking at today, we’re looking way down the road. This is a long-term initiative here. It’s as simple as us trying to get better. It had nothing to do with Luongo. It had to do with our future, handing off the baton kind of thing.”
With no picks in the second round, Florida didn’t make its first pick Saturday until grabbing goalie Samuel Montembeault.
“This is very exciting to be drafted by the home team at their place,” Montembeault said.
"I grew up watching a lot of Roberto Luongo, he was one of my favorite players. I think this is a good team, a great place to play. I knew they were looking for a goalie and I'll be there.''
The Panthers used their second pick of the third round on defenseman Thomas Schemitsch.
“This has been really cool; seeing the atmosphere [Friday] was good to see,” Schemitsch said. “The Panthers have a lot of depth and it’s a challenge in which you have to prove yourself.”
All told, Florida drafted two goalies, a defenseman and five forwards with its eight selections (a fifth-round pick was traded to the Islanders) in this hometown draft.
“We tried hard to get into the second round but didn’t have any dance partners,” scouting director Scott Luce said. “It didn’t work out so we went with our second strategy of keeping the picks and letting them come along.”
Said Tallon: “It was a very successful draft for us. We hit a home run with [first-round pick Lawson] Crouse — that was a bonus and a blessing for us. Not having a pick early [Saturday] was frustrating. We tried to get a pick but weren’t able to. We got the No. 1 goalie on our list and a big defenseman who was under the radar.”
▪ The Islanders made defenseman Andong Song the first Chinese-born player drafted by an NHL team.
Song, a native of Beijing who moved to Canada when he was 9, was taken in the sixth round. Song eventually moved to New Jersey, where he was the captain of the Lawrenceville School team during his senior season.
Song had a large contingent of teammates and coaches in the stands at BB&T Center, and a loud roar erupted when the Islanders called his name.
Samuel Montembeault | G
Selected: Third round, 77th overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Becancar, Quebec).
Scouting report: Montembeault ranked second in the Quebec junior league with a 2.59 goals-against average. He had a franchise-record nine-game personal winning streak from Oct. 12 to Nov. 14.
Thomas Schemitsch | D
Selected: Third round, 88th overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Thornhill, Ontario).
Scouting report: A big defenseman with good speed, Schemitsch will be a top player at Owen Sound of the Ontario league next year.
Denis Malgin | C
Selected: Fourth round, 112th overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Olten, Switzerland).
Scouting report: Malgin doesn’t have much size, but the Panthers love his skill and say he is an “elite” talent. Malgin could play North American junior hockey next season or play professionally in Europe.
Karch Bachman | LW
Selected: Fifth round, 132nd overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Fort Wayne, Indiana).
Scouting report: Called the “fastest player in the draft” by Florida GM Dale Tallon, Bachman still has another year of high school before he heads to Miami (Ohio).
Christopher Wilkie | RW
Selected: Sixth round, 162nd overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Omaha, Nebraska).
Scouting report: Wilkie’s father David was a first-round pick (20th overall) of the Montreal Canadiens in 1992 and played 167 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.
Patrick Shea | C
Selected: Seventh round, 192nd overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Marshfield, Massachusetts).
Scouting report: Shea has good scoring skills. After another season in high school, Shea has committed to the University of Maine.
Ryan Bednard | G
Selected: Seventh round, 206th overall.
Age (hometown): 18 (Macomb, Michigan).
Scouting report: Bednard is expected to jump to Youngstown of the USHL before going to Bowling Green University for the 2016-17 season.