The Panthers announced today that they’ve signed Jayce Hawryluk to an entry-level contract. Hawryluk was drafted by the Panthers with the 32nd pick of the 2014 NHL Draft and immediately becomes one of the Panthers’ best winger prospects signed to a contract alongside Dryden Hunt, who the Panthers signed last week, and Lawson Crouse.
Hawryluk is in his 4th and final year in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings and will turn pro after the season ends. The season isn’t over just yet but Hawryluk has already set new career-highs in goals, assists (in 12 fewer games than last season), points, and +/- and he tied his career-high 8-game point streak. Hawryluk had a monster February during which he tallied 33 points in 13 games, including 7 goals (1 hat-trick) and 26 assists.
“It means a lot to me,” Hawryluk told Cats on the Prowl. “I’m super excited for the opportunity and honoured to be a Panther as well…it’s something you dream about as a kid.”
Hawryluk plays a energetic, offensive, and physical two-way game and has shown the ability to progress over the course of his 4 seasons in the WHL. This is a fairly big signing for the Panthers considering the fact that their right wing depth is fairly shallow and his ability to generate offense is an important addition to the team’s deepening pipeline of prospects.
The 20-year old Manitoba-native will turn pro at the end of the season and will compete for a spot on the Panthers’ roster at training camp. He’s performed very well at his first two camps, so it wouldn’t be surprising for him to perhaps make the team. If he doesn’t though, he’ll likely have a spot waiting for him with the Portland Pirates of the AHL.
We posted a prospect profile on Hawryluk here a few weeks ago, so check that out if you’re interested in learning more about him and his style of play.