The Florida Panthers have signed Mason Marchment to a one-year extension for the 2021-22 season, keeping him in the organization. Marchment would have become a Group VI unrestricted free agent at the end of the season given how few NHL games he has played to this point. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports the deal is worth $800K. Florida GM Bill Zito released a short statement explaining why the team has re-signed Marchment:
Mason has taken full advantage of his opportunity this season and we are pleased to have signed him to a contract extension. In his first full NHL season, he has proven himself to be a versatile forward who provides our team with a combination of size, skill, and character. We are excited for Mason to take the next step in his career with our organization.
The 25-year-old seemed like an afterthought when he was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs last year, arriving in Florida in exchange for Denis Malgin. He had played just four NHL games to that point and spent the rest of the 2019-20 season in the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds, failing to register a goal in six games. The Panthers brought him back on a one-year two-way contract though, and Marchment seized an opportunity to establish himself as an NHL player. In 22 games this season he has seven points, even skating beside Aleksander Barkov on the top line for short periods.
Undrafted, Marchment was a development project by Maple Leafs organization and spent time in the ECHL before becoming a regular for the Toronto Marlies. Eventually, he learned how to use his 6’4″ frame and natural antagonizing abilities—inherited from his dad, Bryan Marchment—to carve out a versatile role for the AHL club. It’s that same in-your-face role that has made Marchment a favorite of the Florida organization and now led to a new deal.