The Florida Panthers have locked up one of their own Saturday when they signed winger Frank Vatrano to a three-year contract extension worth $7.59MM, according to The Athletic’s George Richards. The contract, which will buy out on unrestricted free-agent year, will give him an AAV of $2.53MM.
Vatrano, who was acquired from Boston almost a year ago today for a third-round pick, has been quite successful in Florda as he has already has a career-high 20 goals this season and has been a key part to the team’s offense. Vatrano looked like he had potential after the team picked him up at the trade deadline as he posted five goals in 16 games last year while Florida made an impressive run to get into the playoffs last year. However, this year, he’s taken his game up a level and has proven that is a key piece to the team’s future.
Vatrano, who was making $925K this season will get quite a boost next season. Vatrano had two years remaining as a restricted free agent and with arbitration being a possibility for him, it isn’t a surprise that Florida tried to get him locked up now and getting an extra year out of him in the deal makes the deal that much better, especially with many restricted free agents getting more and more at this point in their careers.