Panthers claim defenseman Casey Fitzgerald from Sabres

25-year-old has appeared in 23 NHL games this season

The Florida Panthers have claimed defenseman Casey Fitzgerald off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres.

Fitzgerald is a former third round pick (86th overall) in 2016, who has appeared in 23 games for the Sabres this season and put up three assists and 4 PIM.

He is in the final year of a two-year contract that pays him $750K at the NHL level and will become a restricted free agent this summer.

The 25-year-old split time between Buffalo and the Rochester Americans in 2021-22. In 36 NHL games he produced nine assists, and in 28 AHL games he totaled 4 goals and 12 points. He put up two goals and five assists in 10 postseason games for the Amerks.

Fitzgerald played four seasons at Boston College before turning pro at the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign. He is the son of New Jersey Devils general manager and former Panthers forward Tom Fitzgerald.

Bill Zito claimed current Panthers defensemen Gustav Forsling and Josh Mahura on waivers, so no harm in going for another.