Instead of a defenseman, the Florida Panthers inked youngster Cole Schwindt to an entry-level contract.
Schwindt, who is 18-years-old, has played his last three seasons in the OHL with the Mississauga Steelheads. In 57 games this year, Schwindt put together his best stat line, recording 28G, 43A, for 71 points. In 2018-19, Schwindt registered a solid slash line in his draft year, tallying 19G, 30A, for 49 points in 68 games.
That season led him to the draft in a comfortable position, as the Panthers wound up taking the 6’2″, 183lb forward in the third round (81st overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
The native of Kitchener, Ontario, possesses a lethal wrist shot from in tight but is a responsible two-way player who prides himself in all three zones of the ice.
“Cole is a talented and responsible two-way player who had an excellent season playing a key role with Mississauga. He possesses great versatility, size and character and we are excited about his continued development with the Panthers.”
As Schwindt turns 19 this month, he’s expected to return to Mississauga next year to play in his fourth season with the Steelheads as one of their more experienced players. An opportunity to go back and play another full year in juniors should do Schwindt well, allowing him to hone his game at a level of comfort and in a familiar setting.
Keep an eye on Cole Schwindt over these next two years as the Canadian youngster looks to make a name for himself during his developmental stages.
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.