The Florida Panthers re-signed defenseman Keaton Ellerby on Friday to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed, but general manager Dale Tallon confirmed it is a one-way NHL contract.
Ellerby collected five assists in 40 regular-season games for the Panthers last season and was scoreless in one Stanley Cup Playoff game.
"Give him an opportunity. He can skate, he can play, hopefully he's maturing," Tallon said. "It takes a long time for defensemen, longer than forwards. It takes 300 games before most players become top-notch defensemen. We're very patient."
A first-round pick taken by the Panthers at No. 10 in the 2007 NHL Draft, Ellerby has recorded two goals, 17 points and 34 penalty minutes in 120 games over parts of three seasons with the team.
"He's got great feet," Tallon said. "He's able to carry the puck and he's aggressive, he's got size and skating ability. It's just a matter of playing with a little more confidence, that's all."