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Panthers sign 6-foot-8 Dartmouth goalie to entry-level contract

The Florida Panthers added to their organizational goalie depth in a big way Tuesday. The Panthers signed Cooper Black, who stands 6-foot-8, to a two-year entry-level contract that begins next season.

Black is slated to make $855,000 in the NHL, $80,000 in the minors, along with a $95,000 signing bonus which is the max salary and signing bonus, per PuckPedia, who had the contract details first. 

The 22-year-old starred at Dartmouth College the past two seasons and was an undrafted free agent. He was 13-8-8 in 29 games this season with a 2.58 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts. He was a finalist for the ECAC Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year Award.

“Cooper is a talented young goaltender whose rare combination of size and athletic ability have allowed him to succeed in the college ranks,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “We are looking forward to his further development within our organization.”

Black was named to the 2022-23 ECAC All-Rookie Team last season when he posted three shutouts and had a 3.07 GAA in 30 games.

Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Black was a star in his lone season in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers, where his .924 save percentage was best in the league.

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Cooper Black adds to Panthers solid depth at goalie position

NHL: Nashville Predators at Florida Panthers
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Black attended Panthers development camp last summer and will now head to Charlotte to join their American Hockey affiliate on an amateur tryout contract. He will join former Boston College star Spencer Knight in Charlotte. Knight, 22, is fifth in the AHL with 23 wins, tied for third with five shutouts and seventh with a 2.42 GAA.

The Panthers (47-24-5) have a good thing going at the NHL level. The Stanley Cup runners-up in 2022-23 are second in the Atlantic Division with star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in the thick of Vezina Trophy consideration. Bobrovsky is tied for third in the NHL with 33 wins. His backup, Anthony Stolarz, is 14-7-2 with a 2.12 GAA and .923 save percentage.

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