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Florida Panthers ink first round pick Lawson Crouse to entry-level contract

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Dale Tallon gets Kingston forward to sign on the line which dotted.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers have agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with burgeoning power forward Lawson Crouse. The club selected Crouse with the 11th pick in the 2015 Draft held at the BB&T Center.

According to head coach Gerard Gallant, the big-bodied, powerful Crouse will be given every opportunity to not make the team, but maybe even a spot on one of the top two lines out of training camp.

General manger Dale Tallon had this to say:

Lawson is a strong, skilled and physically mature forward with good hands, who will provide us with a prominent forechecking presence each night. He was one of our best players in development camp and we are confident he can make an immediate impact on our roster, playing on one of our top lines.

Crouse is fresh off his second season with the lowly Frontenacs, where he scored 29 and 22 assists in 56 games. If he's ready for regular duty with the Cats he will bring much-needed size, grit, penalty-killing ability and perhaps a little more scoring. Should be interesting. Welcome to Sunrise, Lawson!