The Florida Panthers have annouced that the club has re-signed defenseman Matt Kiersted to a two-year contract. The first year of Kiersted’s contract (2022-23) will be a two-way contract, and the second (2023-24) will be a one-way contract.
Kiersted, 24, skated in 10 games with Florida in 2021-22, recording two points (1G/1A). He registered his first NHL assist on October 16 vs. the New York Islanders, and tallied his first NHL goal on December 16 vs. the Los Angeles Kings.
The 6-foot, 181-pound native of Elk River, MN, has appeared in 17 career NHL games with Florida. He completed his first full professional season with Florida’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, in 2021-22, producing 20 points (5G/15A) over 63 games. In the AHL postseason, Kiersted played in seven games with Charlotte posting one goal and a plus-two rating.
Prior to his professional career, Kiersted amassed 77 points (20G/57A) over 127 NCAA games with the University of North Dakota, helping the team to a 2020-21 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Title and Penrose Cup. He was named a 2020-21 NCHC First Team All-Star, leading all UND defensemen in points in each of his final three seasons. He was also a finalist for the 2019-20 NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year after producing 29 points (6G/23A) in 33 games, the third-most among defensemen in the nation.
Undrafted, Kiersted originally signed with Florida as a free agent on April 1, 2021.