It’s been quiet on the Florida Panthers’ end as of late, but they continued their usual business by signing prospect Serron Noel to his first NHL contract.
The Panthers originally drafted Noel back in June of 2018, selecting the 6’5″, 205lb Ottawa native with the 34th pick in the second round.
Noel, who is currently 18 years of age, plays for the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
In his previous season with the Generals (2017-18), Noel tallied a solid slash line of 28G, 25A, for 53 points in 62 games.
The following season (this year), Noel has taken his game to another level, increasing his point production to 32G, 44A, for 76 points in 63 games.
Internationally, he represented Team Canada at the IIHF World U18 Championship, recording 2G, 4A, and 6 points in 5 games.
Earlier this season, Noel was also selected to take part on Team OHL in the 2018 CIBC Canada-Russia Series.
Known for his big frame and long stride, many have referred to him as Nick Bjugstad 2.0. Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon sees some of Bjugstad’s game in Noel’s, which is why Tallon didn’t hesitate to take Noel early in the second round.
Tallon had a few words to say about the youngster’s development and future with the club:
"“Serron is a highly skilled, hard-working, young player who we believe has the potential to be an excellent power forward for the Panthers for many years to come. At just 18 years of age, his impressive combination of size, speed and character are qualities that have helped him excel this season in Oshawa. We are thrilled to have signed Serron and look forward to his development with the Panthers.”"
If all goes as planned for Serron, there’s honestly no reason why he shouldn’t see the NHL ice in a couple of seasons.
He’s already physically mature for his age and possesses top-notch skills that put his game over the top with his size.
Time will only tell if Noel will continue down this smooth development path. Because if he does, the Panthers have a real solid player on their hands who they can use in their bottom six down the road from now.