Cats Sign Kulikov

Tuesday, 09.29.2009 / 1:11 PM ET / Transactions
Florida Panthers
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Cats Sign Kulikov
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
By Dave Joseph for

First round draft pick Dmitry Kulikov, who has impressed the Panthers with his play on the blue line throughout training camp and preseason, agreed Tuesday to an entry-level contract pending league approval.
The 18-year-old Kulikov, selected by the Panthers 14th overall in the Entry Draft, has impressed Panthers coach Peter DeBoer with his skating and offensive ability. Kulikov has a power play goal and an assist and is a plus-three in five pre-season games with the Panthers.

The Panthers now have nine regular-season games to decide whether to keep Kulikov on their NHL squad or send him back to Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The 6-1, 185-pound Kulikov has made it clear since being drafted his dream is to play in the NHL this season.

"He's had a good camp, he's a very talented player, but he's young," said Panthers assistant General Manager Randy Sexton. "But he's earned a chance to get additional games. We have nine games to give him before we decide whether he stays with us. 

"I think we have a great coaching staff here and Kitch (assistant coach Mike Kitchen) is a great teacher, but players have to continue to play to develop."

A native of Lipetsk, Russia, Kulikov played his first season of hockey last year in North America for Drummondville and was a hit, leading all defenseman with 62 points (50 assists) in 57 games and being named Rookie of the Year, Best Professional Prospect and Defenseman of the Year by the QMJHL. is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.