The Florida Panthers have tidied up some restricted free agent negotiations today, re-signing Noah Juulsen and Lucas Carlsson to one-year deals. Both contracts are two-way, and take care of the two young defensemen before arbitration could have been awarded later this summer. PuckPedia reports that Carlsson will earn $750K in the NHL, $150K in the AHL and has secured a $200K minor league guarantee. Juulsen’s contract details have not yet been released, but should likely come in around similar lines.
Juulsen, 24, had another season with just a handful of games played, spending a good chunk of the year on the injured reserve once again. Selected 26th overall in 2015, the former Montreal Canadiens prospect amazingly has played in just 100 professional games over the last four seasons, AHL and NHL combined. He’s dealt with major injuries, including one to his eye that caused vision problems, and finds himself on the fringe between the two levels. In four appearances with the Panthers this season he failed to record a point.
A year from now, Juulsen will become a Group VI unrestricted free agent, should he fail to secure at least a semi-regular spot in the Panthers lineup. After losing Chris Driedger in the expansion draft instead of one of their unprotected defensemen, it may be hard for him to crack the top-six.
The same can be said about Carlsson, who didn’t play a game with the Panthers after arriving in a midseason trade. Acquired along with Lucas Wallmark from the Chicago Blackhawks, the 24-year-old defenseman just played in 11 games with the Syracuse Crunch down the stretch. He did record nine points in those games, continuing a trend of offensive production in the minor leagues, but Carlsson has just 18 games of NHL experience to his name.
Even though he’s also 24, Carlsson’s birthday comes just after the Group VI cutoff for next year. The Panthers will retain his rights as an RFA regardless of where he plays this season.