The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting Florida Panthers defenseman Keaton Ellerby has been locked into a one-year - and more importantly, one-way - deal. Terms have not yet been released; the 22 year-old completed the final season of his entry level contract which carried a cap hit of $1.3M (all figures pe CapGeek). He was due for restricted free agency this summer.
This could be seen as a further audition for the 10th-overall selection in 2007, as a single year gives the club an easy out if a different direction is established for an evolving defensive core.
Ellerby's signing makes for a total of four blueliners under contract for the Panthers' 2011-12 season, joining Jason Garrison, Dmitry Kulikov, and Mike Weaver.