Panthers reach entry-level deal with Aleksander Barkov

The Florida Panthers agreed to an entry-level deal with first-round pick Aleksander Barkov, the team announced Monday.

“We are pleased to have signed Aleksander,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon said in a release. “He is a mature, strong and skilled forward who plays well at both ends of the ice and strengthens our line-up down the middle. Aleksander is a creative and dynamic player who our fans will enjoy watching. We look forward to his contributions to our organization both on and off the ice.”

The Finnish center, 17, was the second overall pick in the NHL Draft two weeks ago, having amassed 48 points in 53 games for Tappara of the Finnish Elite League during the season.

“I am very excited about signing my first NHL contract with Florida,” Barkov said in a release. “I enjoyed meeting with the Panthers coaches, my future teammates and our fans at development camp last week. I will continue to train hard and look forward to competing for a spot on the team when training camp opens in September.”