It was a busy day for the Florida Panthers as they agreed to deals with defensemen Max Gildon and Alec Rauhauser.
On Thursday, March 26, the Florida Panthers announced that they agreed to terms with defenseman Max Gildon on a three-year, entry-level contract and a one-year, two-way contract with defenseman Alec Rauhauser.
Gildon, who is 20-years-old, was originally drafted by the Panthers in the third round (66th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. Prior to being drafted, Gildon took part with the USNTDP Juniors (USHL) for two seasons, recording 5G, 16A, for 21 points in 61 games. He also featured in 121 games with the U.S. National U17/18 Team (USDP), tallying 12G, 39A, and 51 points.
The 6’3″, 192lb, left-handed defenseman took his talents over to the University of New Hampshire (NCAA) where he played in three seasons with the Wildcats, posting 21G, 52A, for 73 points in 101 games. During that time span, Gildon was able to develop into a complete defenseman who could play confidently in all three zones.
“Max is a dynamic and exciting young defenseman who possesses size and skill and plays the game with an edge. Since beginning his collegiate career, he has been a key player for the University of New Hampshire and has been a leader for his team. We are thrilled for Max to take the next step in his development with the Panthers.”
Rauhauser, who is 25-years-old, spent the 2019-20 campaign with Bowling Green State University (NCAA), featuring in 38 games as the team’s captain, registering 11G, 24A, and 35 points. His 35 points led Bowling Green in scoring as a defenseman. In reward for his outstanding year, Rauhauser was named as a nominee for the 2020 Hobey Baker Memorial Award and was also listed as part of the NCAA (All-USCHO) Second Team, NCAA (WCHA) Defensive Player of the Year, along with the NCAA (WCHA) First All-Star Team.
Over the course of a four-year span with Bowling Green, Rauhaser registered 29G, 93A, for 122 points in a grand total of 159 games.
GM Dale Tallon expressed his excitement towards the American native, per NHL.com:
“Over four seasons at Bowling Green, Alec has proven himself to be among the best at his position at the collegiate level. He is a skilled two-way defenseman who is a leader both on and off the ice. We are excited to have him join the Panthers organization.”
It will be interesting to see what happens with Max Gildon and Alec Rauhauser next season. Gildon will undoubtedly play with the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, whoever that may be after Springfield signed an affiliate deal with the St. Louis Blues. If he impresses, Gildon might have a shot at receiving an NHL call-up with the Cats.
Rauhauser, on the other hand, will for sure start the year in the AHL but isn’t expected to crack the Panthers lineup. He will serve as a decent second or third-pairing defenseman in the minors.
Stay tuned for more relating to your Florida Panthers as we anxiously wait for a decision from the NHL pertaining to the remainder of the 2019-20 season.