Florida Panthers: Frank Vatrano’s Extension Was an Excellent Move

SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Frank Vatrano #72 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the BB&T Center on February 21, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Frank Vatrano #72 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the BB&T Center on February 21, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Recently, the Florida Panthers and forward Frank Vatrano reached an agreement on a three-year extension, worth approximately $2.53M per year.

The 24-year-old, American-born winger was originally signed by the Boston Bruins as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

Vatrano would spend roughly two and a half seasons with the Bruins before being shipped off to Florida for a third-round draft selection.

Frank Vatrano’s first season with the Florida Panthers (2017-18) was a relatively successful one. In only 16 regular season games with the Cats, Vatrano would register an adequate slash line of 5G, 3A, for 8 points, a point-per-game average of exactly 0.50 on the season.

In addition, Vatrano recorded an impressive plus/minus rating of +6, indicating he was certainly solid on the defensive end, as well. Essentially, the Frank Vatrano acquisition was appearing like a complete steal by Dale Tallon.

Quite frankly, “Franky V” never truly received an opportunity in Boston, but certainly demonstrated some notable signs of promise in year No. 1 as a member of the Florida Panthers. The 2018-19 NHL campaign has evidently been Vatrano’s most successful season as an NHLer.

In 61 regular season contests, Vatrano has produced a solid line of 20G, 13A, for 33 points. Frank has already established career high marks in goals scored (20), assists (13), total points (33), games played (59), shots on goal (148), and power-play points (7).

In essence, Vatrano has clearly earned himself a deserving contract extension with the Florida Panthers, the team he experienced the most personal success with.

The Cats essentially signed a 24-year-old twenty goal scorer for roughly two and a half million dollars per season over the next three years.

Dale Tallon also bought an extra year of free agency by signing Vatrano on a three-year deal rather than a traditional two-year contract for the pending restricted free agent.

Vatrano has developed sensational chemistry with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on Florida’s top line. The Cats have remained competitive and afloat largely because of the performance of Frank Vatrano.

Also, Vatrano has been characterized as a hard-working, highly talented sniper who creates an abundance of scoring chances and elevates the play of his fellow teammates while on the ice.

Vatrano provides the Cats with a lethal scoring option on the top-six forward unit for the present and the future.

Furthermore, Vatrano’s goal-scoring abilities are incredibly impressive, considering 19 of his 20 goals have come from even strength play.

Vatrano is ranked among the leaders in the NHL in terms of goals scored via five-on-five. If Frank Vatrano is given playing time on the first power-play unit for the Cats, then he could potentially become a consistent 25-30 goal scorer at the NHL level.

In addition, Vatrano does an absolutely incredible job on both ends of the ice, as he isn’t solely a one-dimensional player.

Not only can Frank Vatrano provide consistent offense, but he can also play defense exceptionally well (only a -1 on the season and was a +6 last season for FLA).

Ultimately, “the Italian Stallion” is a productive two-way forward who contributes in the scoring department, adds much-needed grittiness and energy, and helps tremendously on the defensive end, as well.

Overall, Dale Tallon did an excellent job in regards to locking up the underrated Frank Vatrano on an inexpensive three-year contract.

Vatrano’s spectacular 2019 season undoubtedly warranted an extension from the Panthers and he certainly was deserving of one.

In hindsight, Frank Vatrano will help improve the Florida Panthers in the present and will contribute towards future Stanley Cup playoff runs down the road from now.

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