Word broke on Saturday afternoon that the Panthers had signed WHL undrafted free-agent Dryden Hunt to a entry-level contract, and Cats on the Prowl has confirmed that with a source close to the team. We were also told that Hunt passed over offers of 5 other teams to sign with the Panthers.
Dryden Hunt is currently playing in his 4th season in the WHL for the Moose Jaw Warriors where he is having a career year putting up 49 goals (good for 1st in the WHL) and 50 assists in 61 games so far this season. Hunt was passed over in the 2014 NHL Draft after injuries kept him out of all but two games in the season prior. Some more injuries also kept him out of a bunch games in the 2015 Draft season and Hunt was passed over yet again. This year, however, the 20-year old left winger has taken his game to another level with the Warriors where he’s playing with Quinton Howden’s brother, Brett, who is eligible for the 2016 Draft in June.
Hunt has some raw offensive talent, although his production does carry some concern with it due to the fact that he’s suddenly dominating the league in his 4th year. The British Columbia-native has 5 – yes, FIVE – hat tricks in his last 9 games, a total of 18 goals in his last 10 games, and is 2nd in the WHL in points with 99. He has an above-average wrist shot, seems to be in the right place at the right time, and has been working on the defensive side of his game over his past couple of seasons.
With the Panthers giving up several draft picks in trades to acquire Jiri Hudler, Jakub Kindl, and Teddy Purcell earlier today, signing Hunt gives them yet another option in the pipeline to help cover up the losses.