SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Sandis Vilmanis on a three-year, entry-level contract commencing in 2024-25.

“Sandis is a strong skater and skilled forward who possesses high character,” said Zito. “We are excited to watch him continue his blossoming career within our system.”

Vilmanis, 20, has produced 28 goals and 53 points (28-25-53) over 50 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) games between the Sarnia Sting and North Bay Battalion this season, logging 25 points (18-7-25) over 20 games since being acquired by North Bay on Jan. 6.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound native of Riga, Latvia, has amassed 98 points (48-50-98) over 112 career OHL games between North Bay and Sarnia over the last two seasons. Prior to his North American career, Vilmanis spent three seasons (2019-20 to 2021-22) playing in Lulea HF’s junior pipeline in Sweden.

On the international stage, Vilmanis has represented Latvia at multiple tournaments, most recently at the 2024 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship where he served as alternate captain and produced four points (2-2-4) over five games. He represented Latvia at the U20 WJC in each of the last three seasons and at the IIHF U18 WJC in 2021 and 2022.

Vilmanis was originally selected by Florida in the fifth round (157th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft.

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