The Florida Panthers have taken advantage of the college hockey exodus, agreeing to terms with Henry Bowlby on a two-year entry-level contract. The deal will begin with the 2020-21 season, when Bowlby will be making the transition to pro hockey. For the last three years, he has been playing for Harvard but with no hockey season scheduled many of the school’s top players are heading elsewhere.
Bowlby, 23, is signing as an undrafted free agent and will quickly enter the conversation for the Panthers as a depth forward. His offensive game isn’t what got him onto the radar of the Panthers—his career-high at Harvard was just 16 points—instead, it’s his ability to play the middle of the ice and contribute defensively that has earned him this deal.
He’s not eligible to participate in this season, but you can bet that Bowlby will be trying to prove himself when training camp opens in November. The likeliest scenario has him heading to the AHL to start his pro career, but what happens after that is something of a mystery.