SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Rick Dudley announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with D Jay Bouwmeester. The 6’4”, 210-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta, was the Panthers first choice (third overall) at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft held this past June in Toronto. As per club policy, details of the contract were not released.
“Because we’ve been in the middle of negotiations it’s been difficult to express just how impressed we’ve been with this young hockey player,” said Dudley. “He truly is as good a prospect as I’ve seen in many years. It will be fun to be associated with this evolving talent.”
Bouwmeester, who was the top ranked prospect by Central Scouting heading into the 2002 Entry Draft, played six games in the preseason and recorded two assists. He played 61 games for Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League last season scoring 11 goals and 50 assists, while winning the fastest skater contest on the Top Prospects Skills Competition on Jan. 31, 2002.