The restricted free agent market is still frozen, but for the Florida Panthers things have thawed just a bit. Denis Malgin has agreed to terms with the Panthers on a new one-year, one-way contract. He will still be a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, but will be eligible for salary arbitration.
Malgin, 22, has played at least 47 games for the Panthers in each of his three seasons in the NHL including 50 in 2018-19. The 5’9″ forward registered seven goals and 16 points during those contests, playing just under 13 minutes a night. The question now becomes whether he can take a step forward and become a more valuable part of the Panthers’ offense, even with the loaded top-six the team will ice this season.
Originally selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, Malgin seemed like a long-shot to even make the NHL at all. His small stature and lack of any real dominance in the Swiss leagues made it hard to know exactly what he could bring, but the Panthers gave him the chance in 2016 after some very strong international appearances and he ran with it. With a one-way deal you can bet he’s penciled into the opening day roster, though where exactly he fits in now that Brett Connolly and Noel Acciari have been added isn’t clear. The Florida training camp will be extremely interesting to watch this season as young players like Malgin, Henrik Borgstrom, Jayce Hawryluk and Owen Tippett battle for playing time.
Malgin was the Panthers final restricted free agent left to sign.