SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers made a move on Tuesday to solidify the team’s goaltending for years to come.
Florida and goaltender Spencer Knight have agreed on a three-year contract extension.
The 21-year-old is now under contract with the Panthers through the 2025-26 season.
“Spencer is a phenomenal goaltender, as well as an exceptional athlete and person,” said Florida General Manager Bill Zito in a statement released by the team. “He has thrived in his professional career, dedicating himself to his training through his first two seasons with our organization.”
Local 10 News has learned the deal comes with an average annual value (AAV) of $4.5 million per season.
Knight made his NHL debut at the end of the 2020-21 season after signing his three-year entry-level contract in April of 2021. He appeared in four regular season games and two postseason games that year.
Over 32 games with Florida last season, Knight logged a 19-9-3 record, a .908 save percentage and 2.79 goals against average to go along with two shutouts. The 19 wins set a Panthers rookie record.
Knight will share the crease with Sergei Bobrovsky this season and beyond, with both goaltenders now under contract with Florida through 2026.
It is worth noting, however, that with Bobrovsky’s $10 million AAV through the end of his contract, Florida will be spending $14.5 million per season on their two NHL goaltenders in each of the next three years, starting with the 2023-24 season.
“With this extension, we are excited about the present and future of Panthers goaltending,” said Zito.
Since his days at Boston College, and before that while playing with USA Hockey, Knight has been considered one of the top goaltending prospects in the world.
Signing Knight to a bridge deal now, before the season, is a wise move by Florida.
He’s expected to continue developing and improving, which could lead to more ice time, exposure and popularity on a grander scale. That, in turn, could have led to a higher ask in the contract department when his ELC expired.
Getting all that out of the way now was a wise move by Zito and his staff.
Florida opens the 2022-23 season on Oct. 13 against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena in Uniondale, New York. The Panthers home opener comes the following Wednesday, Oct. 19 against Philadelphia.