The Panthers announced today that they’ve re-signed right winger Shane Harper to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL. Harper has yet to play in an NHL game, although his chances of finally doing so this coming season are very good.
The Panthers originally signed Harper in July of 2014 when the free agency market opened up and he went on to be the second-leading scorer for the team’s AHL affiliate Portland Pirates. His 37 points were just 5 behind the team’s top scorer, Rob Schremp, and that’s pretty impressive considering he missed all of February with an injury that upset the Pirates’ offensive balance. Harper likely would’ve seen time with the Panthers had he not suffered the injury as it occurred at about the same time the big club was going through the injury bug.
When we profiled and interviewed Harper during the season, we described him as a player reminiscent of Jussi Jokinen in that he plays an incredibly smart, reliable, two-way game and can do so in pretty much any situation necessary. He’s got good foot speed and considering his skill set, it’s a bit surprising that he’s yet to see NHL time, although it’s likely that he’ll be at or near the top of the Panthers’ call-up list this season after coming off a very good year for the Pirates.