The 2012 prospect signing deadline is almost upon us, and like last season Florida general manager Dale Tallon has two players to consider retaining. As per the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, all non-KHL, -MHL, and -NCAA prospects selected in the 2010 NHL Draft must be signed to Entry Level Contracts (ELCs) by 5 p.m. ET today, or the players will re-enter the draft later this month.
Update: The 5 p.m. EST deadline has passed with no news on any of the players signing an entry level deal with the Florida Panthers.Exactly one year ago the Calgary Flames' first round pick Tim Erixon had refused to sign a contract, and was subsequently traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for two 2011 second round picks and Roman Horak. So far, both the Jets and Blue Jackets have parted ways with prospects. The Panthers have two players to sign, Joonas Donskoi and Corey Durocher.
Donskoi signed an extension with Oulun Kärpät, where he is expected to play another season after an injured first half. He was the alternate captain of the Finland World Junior team, and scored five points in the tournament. Donskoi has top-six upside (six points in six playoff games in this season) and is a natural winger in an organization deep with center prospects. In his 122 game career in the SM-liiga, Donskoi has 56 points (26G/30A). He was drafted 99th overall in the 4th round. As mentioned earlier, it's been reported by Finland's RadioMega that Donskoi will not resign with the Panthers. No official word from the Panthers yet.
Center Corey Durocher was a sixth round selection,153rd overall, spending the past three campaigns in the OHL. Durocher played two seasons with Panthers defensemen Erik Gudbranson with the Kingston Frontenacs, and last year with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. A career 0.49 OHL point per game player, Durocher does has some NHL upside but will likely be a replacement level player, if he does ultimately make it.