23-year-old restricted costless agent defenseman Dylan Olsen signed a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers on Monday. Financial components were not unveiled. He was acquired along with forward Jimmy Hayes on November 14th last season from a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Kris Versteeg.
Olsen, the 28th Overall Pick in the 2009 NHL Draft selected by the Blackhawks, played 44 games in Florida last season with three goals and nine assists. When paired with fellow defenseman Erik Gudbranson shortly after being acquired, he developed great chemistry with a career-high five-game point streak in early December. However, when being paired with other teammates, his production drastically dropped and then Panthers coach Peter Horachek benched him for certain games. Overall, in Olsen's young career, he has 13 points in 72 career NHL games.
Dylan is likely to start the season in Florida on opening night as he signed a one-way deal. However, he will be up against other possibilities including 2014 number one overall pick Aaron Ekblad, Coby Robak, and Alex Petrovic for the last two defensive spots. As Olsen couldn't crack the talented blueline in Chicago, he has a decent chance to stay as a bottom pairing defenseman in Florida. However, he must find ways at his young age to produce points when not paired with Erik Gudbranson with some competition from upcoming prospects in the near future.
23-year old forward Garrett Wilson, whom was Florida's 4th Round (107th overall) pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, was also signed to a one-year, two-way deal. Wilson played three games with the Panthers and 71 games with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League where he scored 14 goals and 16 assists.
In addition, like Wilson, 22-year-old forward Steve Martindale was signed to a one-year, two-way deal. He was acquired by the Panthers in a trade on January 17th with Edmonton for forward Steve Pinnizotto. Martindale was drafted in the 3rd Round (61st overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft by Edmonton. He played 59 games last season in the American Hockey League for the Oklahoma City Barons and San Antonio Rampage with eight goals and 16 assists.