NHL notes: Florida Panthers to host 2015 draft

Erie Otters star Connor McDavid (left) is one of the highlights of the upcoming 2015 NHL draft....

Erie Otters star Connor McDavid (left) is one of the highlights of the upcoming 2015 NHL draft. (JAMES MASTERS/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:51 PM ET

Connor McDavid will be taking his talents to South Beach.

Just temporarily, though, unless the Florida Panthers secure the No. 1 draft pick in 2015.

McDavid, the top-ranked player for the '15 NHL draft, will hear his name called from the stage at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., after the league awarded hosting rights for the event to the Panthers. It will be the second time the Panthers have hosted the NHL draft.

"The draft is where the future of the NHL begins to take shape, and the BB&T Center is an ideal setting in which to enjoy the excitement as we welcome our next generation of stars," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday in a statement. "Vinnie Viola, Doug Cifu, Michael Yormark, the Panthers fans and the South Florida community will be outstanding hosts to our clubs, our media and our incoming class of 2015 draftees."

McDavid, a centre with the Erie Otters of the OHL and one of six 16-year-olds to play for Canada at the world junior championships, is expected to go first overall in 2015. The 17-year-old from Toronto has 15 goals and 43 assists in 34 games with the Otters this season.

The Philadelphia Flyers will host the NHL draft this summer.

NO TIMETABLE FOR HARDING

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding practiced Tuesday but there's no telling when he will play again.

Harding, who is on injured reserve, has been out since Dec. 31 due to issues with his medication for multiple sclerosis or the illness itself. He's missed seven games already and isn't sure when he will get back in the lineup.

"There are some things that are out of my control and I thought we did everything in our control to get back to where we are now," Harding said on the team's website. "It was probably the worst timing. When you're playing good and got that rhythm and finally get that chance, you want to run with it."

Harding was 18-7-2 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .933 save percentage before going on IR.

BRIEFLY

Vancouver Canucks forward Dale Weise won't be suspended or fined for his slew-foot on Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty Monday. The NHL will not hold a hearing with Weise, who was not penalized on the play ... Forward Patrick Elias will rejoin the New Jersey Devils Wednesday in Denver and could play Thursday against the Avalanche. Elias has missed seven games due to "total body soreness" ... New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic missed his first game of the season Tuesday in Florida. Hamonic was hurt (upper-body) Sunday against the Dallas Stars ... The Kings sent rookie forward Tyler Toffoli to Manchester of the AHL. He played 33 games with the Kings, scoring nine goals and eight assists ... Kings defenceman Matt Greene is being tested for a concussion. Greene was hurt in a scrap with Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa Monday ... The Detroit Red Wings called up Tomas Jurco from Grand Rapids of the AHL. Jurco has played seven games with the Wings this season, recording two goals and one assist.


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