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2011 NHL Mock Draft: Florida Panthers Select Gabriel Landeskog With No. 3 Pick

With the third pick in SB Nation's 2011 NHL Mock Draft, our Florida Panthers delegation at Litter Box Cats selects, from the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, winger Gabriel Landeskog.

Gabriel Landeskog, RW, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)


Awkward. via AP

Landeskog enters the draft and immediately has the size to play in the NHL, and unlike many other skaters of European decent, this Swede has groomed his game in Ontario, so there's no necessary adjustment period to the North American style of play. Landeskog is ready for action in the pro ranks, and he's even been compared to another former Kitchener Rangers captain that's had a nice NHL career so far.

Here's Litter Box Cats, justifying their pick:

His play is similar to that of current NHL All Star Mike Richards, and if Landeskog is selected by the Panthers, he will likely be groomed into a leadership role along with current veterans in the lineup, as well as a few of the upcoming prospects, such as Erik Gudbranson or Garrett Wilson.

Florida has long had a need for a gritty, high-intensity scoring forwards with strong leadership qualities and Landeskog is definitely just that. If selected he would be given an honest chance to crack the lineup for 2011-12, but knowing [general manager Dale] Tallon's desire to transition his current crop of prospects into the NHL the "proper" way (i.e. not rushed), one could reasonably expect to see Landeskog spend a season elsewhere for further maturation.

Read more about the pick at Litter Box Cats. You can learn more about Gabriel Landeskog around SB Nation, via draft profiles at our Minnesota Wild blog, Hockey Wilderness, and our Columbus Blue Jackets blog, The Cannon.

The New Jersey Devils, via In Lou We Trust, are on the clock.

You can find every pick from our 2011 NHL Mock Draft in this StoryStream. For full coverage of the 2011 NHL Draft, stick with SB Nation's network of 34 hockey blogs, covering the draft from every angle. Also, stick with SB Nation's NHL Draft hub, where you can find all the latest player profiles and news surrounding the event, which takes place in St. Paul, Minn. on June 24-25.