At this summer's NHL Entry Draft, it was all but predetermined that Seth Jones — elite defensive prospect for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks who grew up a Colorado Avalanche fan — would be selected first overall by his hometown team.
That would likely leave an elite forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning at 3rd overall, one of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, or European forwards Aleksander Barkov or Valeri Nichushkin.
And then this bombshell dropped from Avalanche beat reporter Adrian Dater:
Avalanche won't take Seth Jones at No. 1, per Denver Post…
— adater (@adater) June 19, 2013
Suddenly, the player almost everyone considered the consensus best player available that fills an immediate need for the Tampa Bay Lightning might just fall into their lap.
While Dale Tallon — GM of the Florida Panthers and the guy holding the 2nd overall pick — could still select Jones, speculation out of Florida has been that the Panthers need to add a dynamic scoring forward to their lineup, and there is little reason to suggest that plan should change if Colorado selects a forward after all.
In what could end up being a best possible case for the Lightning, they may get the best player available in the draft class and slot him into an NHL roster spot right away.
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