NH’s Rheault signs deal with Panthers
The Florida Panthers signed former Manchester Monarch and Deering native Jon Rhealt over the weekend.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon announced on Sunday the team had agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the 25-year-old Rheault, a right wing.
Rheault will add some much-needed depth at forward for the Panthers. Last season, he played in 47 games for the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, recording 16 goals and 33 points for the Calgary affiliate.
As an amateur, Rheault played for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, leading to a four-year career at Providence College. He was originally drafted by Flyers in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Rheault played for the Manchester Monarchs in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and spent part of the last three seasons with Abbortsford.
“I’m definitely excited for a fresh start in a new organization. I think it’s a great opportunity. It seems like the Panthers know what type of player I am, and I’ll have a good opportunity to make the team,” said Rheault, who has been spending his summer in Deering and also training at the University of Vermont.
Rheault had been weighing a few different contact options but couldn’t turn down the two-way deal with Florida. He will either break fall training camp with the Panthers or the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.
“It feels like this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for each year. I’m ready to make that next jump (to the NHL),” said Rheault, whose sisters, Leah and Jenna, attend Hillsboro-Deering and play soccer for the Hillcats. “It was a tough switching organizations, and I really want to thank the organization (Abbotsford) for having me the past two and a half years.”
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