The Panthers announced this week that they’ve signed Denis Malgin to entry-level contract. Malgin becomes the third 2015 draft pick of the Panthers to be signed to an entry-level contract and the second in just the past several months.
Denis Malgin, selected in the 4th round at last year’s draft, is expected to report to the Panthers’ AHL affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds this coming season after attending development camp for the first time just a couple of weeks ago. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL hold his CHL rights so he could join them if he wants, but it doesn’t seem likely considering he has spent the past 2 seasons playing for the ZSC Lions, a team in National League A which is Switzerland’s top men’s league.
The 19-year old forward mentioned that him and his agent, Petr Svoboda – also the agent of Jaromir Jagr – decided that now was the best time for him to make the jump to North America. Because he’s a European player, his decision to make the jump to the pros in North America isn’t restricted by the rules that apply to CHL players.
Malgin recorded 5 goals and 12 assists in 38 games this season while playing primarily in a middle-6 role for the Lions, and he was tied for 5th in scoring at the 2016 World Junior Championship tournament by tallying 1 goal and 8 assists in 6 games.
“I’m a playmaker,” said Denis Malgin when asked what his style of play was. “I can score, but I create plays for the other people; that’s my job.” Malgin has a knack for making plays because he sees the ice so well and his hockey IQ was one of the best out of the other players in the 2015 Draft. Although he is on the smaller side at 5’9″, he’s a fast, shifty skater which allows him to carry the puck up the ice well, allude checks, and make the players around him better.
Malgin is one of the many new players expected to join the Thunderbirds of the AHL next season. Due to the uncertainty with the NHL roster, it’s unclear where exactly he’ll fit in with Springfield, but there’s likely a bottom-9 spot waiting for him. There are no real holes in Malgin’s game, but playing in the AHL will allow him to take a bit of a step forward while also working on rounding out his overall game.