Panthers sign Crouse, believe he ‘can make an immediate impact’

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The Florida Panthers have signed Lawson Crouse to a three-year, entry-level contract.

“Lawson is a strong, skilled and physically mature forward with good hands, who will provide us with a prominent forechecking presence each night,” said GM Dale Tallon in a release. “He was one of our best players in development camp and we are confident he can make an immediate impact on our roster, playing on one of our top lines.”

Panthers coach Gerard Gallant added that Crouse “will be given every opportunity to earn a top six forward position on our roster during training camp.”

Crouse was the 11th overall pick at the 2015 draft. Though he received a rousing ovation from the Panthers fans at BB&T Center, his modest stats last season with OHL Kingston left some with doubts.

“I don’t think my points were horrible, but I know they can improve, and I know there is a long ways to go,” he said prior to the draft.

The Panthers also announced today that they’d come to terms with d-man Alex Petrovic on a two-year contract, and that forwards Quinton Howden and John McFarland had agreed to one-year, two-way contracts.