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The Florida Panthers have re-signed young defenseman Dmitry Kulikov to a three-year, $13 million contract, with a salary cap hit of $4.33 million per year.
Kulikov is entering his sixth year in the NHL, all with the Panthers. Last year, he scored eight goals and had 19 total points, while only missing one game, according to NHL.com.
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told TSN, that it is time for Kulikov to become a leader on the Panthers.
“He’s got all the ability in the world. It’s now just a matter of channeling it in the right direction,” Tallon said. “We’re happy to have him in the fold. He’s a great kid. He’s still a young guy with tremendous ability. Hard to find those guys.”
Kulikov is the third young defenseman that the Panthers have signed in the past week, following the signings of Erik Gudbranson, 22, and Dylan Olsen, 23.
Kulikov has 99 points in 313 career games after being selected 14th overall in 2009.
This is the latest signing by the Panthers, who signed four players on the first day of free agency, as we previously reported.