The Florida Panthers have loaned defenseman Matt Kiersted to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. This move comes just after the team claimed another blueliner, Casey Fitzgerald, off of waivers.
The Panthers needed to clear space on their roster to fit Fitzgerald into the mix, so Kiersted is the odd man out, his departure to the AHL leaving the Panthers once again with seven defenders on their roster.
Kiersted, 24, is an undrafted player who began his professional career in 2020-21 after a long, fruitful collegiate career at the University of North Dakota. Kiersted got a seven-game trial with the Panthers after signing from College, and spent most of last season at the AHL level.
In the AHL, Kiersted scored 20 points in 63 games, and added 64 penalty minutes as well. His performance earned him 10 NHL games that season, and he managed to score his first NHL goal.
This year, Kiersted has split time between the NHL and AHL levels. In the AHL, Kiersted has registered 12 games played and scored one point. Kiersted has played in a top-four role in the AHL, including time killing penalties, but hasn’t managed to seize a major role in the NHL. For the Panthers, Kiersted is averaging under 10 minutes of ice time per night, and virtually no time on the team’s special teams units.
With this loan, Fitzgerald will now get a chance to impress on the Panthers’ roster while Kiersted will look to put forth a solid stretch of appearances in Charlotte.