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Panthers Announce Opening Night 24-Man Roster

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton today announced the club’s opening night 24-man roster, that includes Panthers 2009 first round draft pick D Dmitry Kulikov, who agreed to an entry level contract with the team on Tuesday.

Florida’s roster includes three goaltenders (Tomas Vokoun, Scott Clemmensen, Alexander Salak), eight defensemen (Bryan Allen, Keith Ballard, Jaso Garrison, Ville Koistinen, Kulikov, Jordan Leopold, Bryan McCabe, Dennis Seidenberg) and 13 forwards (David Booth, Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton, Cory Stillman, Steven Reinprecht, Michael Frolik, Rostislav Olesz, Gregory Campbell, Radek Dvorak, Mike Duco, Shawn Matthias, Kamil Kreps, Michal Repik).
In order to reach the 24-man playing roster, Florida assigned C Jeff Taffe to the Rochester Americans and released D Christian Backman from his professional try-out. In addition, forward Nick Tarnasky has been placed on injured reserve.
Kulikov, 18, was selected by Florida with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. A native of Lipetsk, Russia, Kulikov played his first season of hockey last year in North America for Drummondville (QMJHL), leading all defensemen with 62 points (50 assists) in 57 games. He was named Rookie of the Year and the Best Professional Prospect and Defenseman of the Year by the QMJHL.
Florida opens regular season competition this weekend with a pair of games against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009 Compuware NHL Premiere on Friday, Oct, 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3.
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