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Matt Kiersted signs entry-level contract with Florida Panthers

Zito gets North Dakota defender to sign on the which is dotted

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 10 Colorado College at North Dakota

The Florida Panthers have agreed to terms with defenseman Matt Kiersted on a two-year, entry-level contract.

General manager Bill Zito had this to say:

“Matt is an exciting defenseman who plays the game with great speed and vision,” said Zito. “His steady progression and development from an undrafted player to one of the NCAA’s top defensemen is a display of his resiliency and motivation to succeed. We are pleased to have agreed to a contract with Matt and look forward to his future with our organization.”

The 22-yea-old Kiersted appeared in 29 games with the University of North Dakota in 2020-21, registering three goals and 22 points, the most among all Fighting Hawks defensemen. The 6-foot, 175-pound native of Elk River, MN, ranked tied for fifth among all NCAA defensemen in points and tied for second in assists helping lead UND to a 2020-21 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Title and Penrose Cup. He finished as runner-up for the 2020-21 NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year.

The 2020-21 NCHC First Team All-Star appeared in 127 career NCAA games over four seasons with UND (2017-18 to 2020-21), producing 77 points (20G/57A). Kiersted led all North Dakota defensemen in points in each of his last three seasons and was a finalist for the 2019-20 NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year after producing an NCAA career-best 29 points (6G/23A) in 33 games, the third-most among defensemen in the nation.

Undrafted, Kiersted played two United States Hockey League (USHL) seasons for the Chicago Steel (2015-16 to 2016-17), amassing six goals and 38 points in 91 games and won the 2017 Clark Cup Championship.

Welcome to the fold, Matt!