Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Hawryluk Inks Deal with Panthers

Jayce Hawryluk
  Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Jayce Hawryluk has signed an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.

  The Roblin, Manitoba product was a second round pick of the Panthers in the 2014 NHL Draft, 32nd overall.

  "I'm super excited and happy," said Hawryluk Tuesday, "It's another opportunity in my career to try and make the NHL and I'm really excited about it."

  Hawryluk has 30 goals and 79 points in 49 games with the Wheat Kings this season and 251 points in 223 games during his four-year career with Brandon.

  He's currently 25th on the Wheat Kings' all-time scoring list.

  The Panthers already have a strong group of young players that include Aaron Ekblad, Alexander Barkov, Eric Gudbranson and Jonathan Huberdeau -- players that were all drafted and developed by the organization.

  The 5-foot-10, 195 pound Hawryluk says he wanted to be part of the next wave of young players that'll contribute.

  "I think they've done a very good job in developing their young players and not just trading them away," said Hawryluk, "They see the good in their players and they get the best out of their guys...I hope to be one of those guys one day."

  Hawryluk is in his fourth and final season with the Wheat Kings and might have just had his best month, scoring 33 points in 12 games in February.

  Watching former Wheat Kings' teammate and fellow Parkland product Ryan Pulock make his NHL debut earlier this week was an inspiration for Hawryluk, but he also knows he was some work to do in order to take it to the next level.

  "Once you're signed, you just have to put your nose to the grindstone," added Hawryluk, "You may spend some time in the minor or what-not but. for me, I'm just trying to keep working on my skating.  That's a part of my game that I feel can always get better."

  Hawryluk is coming off what was likely his best month as a Wheat King, scoring 33 points in 12 games in February.

  Terms of Hawryuk's contract with the Panthers were not released by the club, but www.capfriendly.com reports the deal is worth $925,000 per season ($70,000 AHL Salary) with no performances or games played bonuses.

  Hawryluk also receives a $277,500 signing bonus, paying out $92,500 per year for the next three years.

  Brandon returns to action Wednesday night when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:00 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

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