Tuesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats ink Marek Alscher to entry-level contract

The Florida Panthers signed defenseman Marek Alscher to an entry-level contract yesterday. His contract takes effect at the start of the 2023-24 season. Expect it to slide.

Alscher, 18, was a third-round selection (93rd) by Florida in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

In his draft season, the 18-year-old appeared in 61 regular season games with the WHL’s Portalnd Winterhawks, producing seven goals and 16 points, a plus-20 rating and racked up 48 PIM. Well regarded for his defensive play, Alscher helped the Winterhawks, who finished third in the Western Conference, finish with the fourth-best penalty kill percentage in the league.

Aischer suited up in all 11 of Portland’s postseason games (0 points, -5, 17 PIM) as the club was eliminated in seven games by eventual league champions Seattle after it swept Prince George in the opening round.

He also skated in eight international contests with Czechia’s U18 team, including four games at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

This season, Alscher has put up seven goals, 21 points and 63 PIM in 54 games with the Winterhawks, who are currently in third place in the Western Conference. While more of a jump was expected offensively, he has delivered another solid season, playing top-pair minutes on the team’s penalty kill, which ranks in the top five in the WHL, while also seeing time on the Portland’s power play.

The Panthers remain idle while prepping for Thursday night’s meeting with the Montreal Canadiens, who were bludgeoned 8-4 on home ice by the Colorado Avalanche last night. Les Habitants will face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight to open a three-game road trip.