Panthers sign Weegar to entry-level deal

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

With the junior season over, the wave of Canadian Hockey League signings continued today with the Florida Panthers announcing they’ve inked defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to a three-year entry-level deal.

A seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2013, Weegar had an outstanding season in 2013-14, setting career highs in goals, assists, points, and, for what it’s worth, plus-minus.

In 61 games with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Moosheads, Weegar tallied 12 goals and 47 assists, but really came to life in the playoffs. During the QMJHL’s tournament, the 20-year-old scored five goals and 17 helpers. This season he was named to the QMJHL’s Second All-Star Team.

The nephew of former NHL defenseman Craig Rivet, it’s most likely that ¬†Weegar will suit up with the San Antonio Rampage next season.

(Cover image courtesy San Antonio Rampage/Flickr)

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Hurricanes, Kings announce entry-level signings

The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings each announced today they’ve signed draft picks to entry level deals.

The Hurricanes announced that Erik Karlsson — not to be confused with the Senators’ defenseman of the same name — has inked a three-year deal with the team. Ron Francis, in a Hurricanes release, said Karlsson adds to the team’s depth at forward, citing the winger’s speed as his best attribute.

Karlsson, a 19-year-old who has spent his entire junior and professional career with Frolunda, suited up for 51 games with Frolunda in 2013-14, tallying five goals and an assist. He also helped Sweden to a silver medal at the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Los Angeles, at work stocking the cupboards even during the Western Conference Final, signed Valentin Zykov to a three-year entry-level deal.

A second round pick in 2013, Zykov’s two-way deal will kick in next season, and will likely see him in Manchester as early as October.

In 53 games last season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL, the 6’0″, 200 lb. winger registered 23 goals and 40 assists, and another 7 goals and 22 points in 22 playoff games.

Asselin gets try-out deal with Phantoms

Guillaume Asselin has landed himself a chance to suit up in the AHL next season.

The 5-foot-10, 170 pound forward has been invited to the Adirondack Phantoms camp on a try-out deal, and will be given a shot at making his professional debut as a member of Philadelphia’s top affiliate.

Asselin, a native of Quebec City, joins the Phantoms camp after wrapping up his QMJHL career. In five seasons between the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Montreal Juniors, Asselin racked up 340 points (146-194) in 376 career games. In his past three years, Asselin was over a point-per-game player, and had career highs in 2010-11 with 35 goals, 47 assists, and 82 points.

Asselin was passed over in the entry draft, but the Phantoms will give him a shot to make his professional debut. If he is passed over, chances are the Quebec native will suit up with the Greenville Road Warriors.

Desjardins signs with Monsters

Undrafted free agent Gabriel Desjardins has signed a deal with the Lake Erie Monsters.

Desjardins, who played in 66 games with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, comes to Colorado’s top affiliate after finishing his eligibility in the CHL. In four seasons in the ‘Q’, Desjardins spent time in Halifax with the Mooseheads(the team which drafted him in the second round of the QMJHL draft), 26 games with the Quebec Remparts, and finished his career with the Huskies.

In his days in the ‘Q’, Desjardins suited up for 297 contests, registering 85 goals and 100 assists to go along with 194 PIM. In the playoffs, Desjardins brought a new level to his game, totalling 17 goals and 11 assists for 28 points in 26 post-season games.

Terms and length of the contract have yet to be released, but the contract will see Desjardins begin, and likely spend the entire season, in Lake Erie.