The Florida Panthers have signed Cole Schwindt to an entry-level contract. The deal is for three years and will take through 2022-23. The team announced the news Wednesday morning.
#FlaPanthers agree to terms with forward Cole Schwindt on three-year, entry-level contract.
— Florida Panthers PR (@FlaPanthersPR) April 8, 2020
Panther Sign Cole Schwindt
The Panthers originally selected Schwindt in the third round of the 2019 Draft. the 6’2″ forward has been playing with the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL for the past three seasons. Schwindt has seen his production increase each year. He had a good 2019-20 with 28 goals and 71 points in 57 games before the Canadian leagues shut down for the year.
Schwindt has a bigger body but he has improved his skating to the point where it doesn’t impact him negatively. He needs some development but he is capable of moving with the puck or passing it to teammates. His size gives him an advantage inside so there is a future for him as someone who plays close to the net on offence. He can play one more year in the OHL unless he wins a spot for opening night in Florida’s next training camp.
What This Means for the Future
Schwindt is not an elite prospect but has taken steps to make himself an NHL player. He became a bigger part of Mississauga’s offence thanks to his skating but more seasoning will be necessary. Florida does not need to rush him through its system thanks to its current depth but Schwindt will complete for NHL time during the current contract. His ceiling is probably as a third line and second power-play option.
Schwindt’s signing marks the fourth prospect that Florida has signed in the past several weeks. They inked three players at the end of March including Hobey Baker finalist Alec Rauhauser. The Panthers are being very aggressive with their farm system. Some of the prospects probably won’t reach the NHL. However, they could easily turn into trade chips if they perform at the lower levels.