position/player: F, Brett connolly
Former team: washington capitals
term: four years
Aav/Total value: $3.5 million aav/ $14 million total
what you need to know
Perhaps the biggest issue with the Panthers in recent years is their lack of depth scoring. They made a big move towards fixing it when they got Brett Connolly to put the pen to paper. What was once a major problem may have just become a strength. Connolly is the ideal depth scorer to play on your third line and second power play unit. He can also slide down to the fourth line or move up to the second line depending on match-ups and he will make an impact either way. He potted a career high 22 goals and 46 points last season playing for the defending champion Washington Capitals. He was a clutch performer during their Stanley Cup run in 2018 and has proven he can play well in the playoffs’ biggest moments. Another aspect of this signing that hasn’t been talked about as much is that Connolly is 27 years old and should be entering the prime of his career. He has improved his goal and points totals each of the last three seasons and there’s no reason to believe that can’t continue. The Panthers scoring depth may have become a big advantage with the likes of Connolly, Frank Vatrano, Denis Malgin, Owen Tippett, and presumably, Aleksi Heponiemi, Serron Noel, and Grigori Denisenko joining the fold soon. The Cats will have no shortage of depth scoring options for deep playoff runs for years to come. Expect him to bury 20 to 25 goals next season and provide 45+ points. If he can continue to do that, his contract will prove to be a bargain and ideally a key piece to a Stanley Cup puzzle.