SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager and head coach Jacques Martin announced today that the club has agreed on an entry-level contract with C Shawn Matthias
Matthias, 19, was acquired by Florida along with a conditional draft pick from Detroit in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi on Feb. 27, 2007. Currently, Matthias is playing junior hockey for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey league (OHL). He is fourth in the OHL and leads Belleville with 56 points (19-37-56) in only 30 games played. He has a rating of plus-17.
“We feel Shawn will make an impact in Florida in the near future,” Martin said. “He has been very successful in junior hockey and now Shawn is ready to take the next step to professional hockey. He is a high-character individual who fits perfectly into what we look for in a Florida Panthers player.”
The 6-4, 213-pound Mississauga, Ontario native was recently named to the Team Canada junior squad that will compete in the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship. In 2006, he competed for Team Canada in the U-18 World Championship.
What people are saying about Matthias:
“Although Florida fans had never heard of Matthias when the Panthers acquired him for Bertuzzi, it seems fairly certain that they will see him in Florida's lineup in a couple of seasons.” ~USA Today
“No. 12 most ‘Can’t Wait to see in the NHL Player’: While comparisons to early-era Todd Bertuzzi may be unfair to put on a junior, they’re unfortunately factual when it comes to Matthias.” ~The Hockey News
“You probably won’t hear any of the Detroit brass say this, but by the looks of Shawn Matthias
’s start this year, they came out on the short end of the Todd Bertuzzi deal and not by a little bit.” ~Hockeysfuture.com
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