The Florida Panthers have signed restricted free agent Dimitri Kulikov to a two year deal, pending finalization to the deal.
Kulikov began his career in his homeland Russia with Lokomotiv-2 Yaroslavl in the Pervaya Liga and left his club in November 2008 to sign for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his lone season with Drummondville, Kulikov led all Quebec League blueliners with 62 points in 57 games. After his rookie year with the Voltigeurs, he was drafted by the Florida Panthers 14th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draftand was signed by the Panthers on September 29, 2009.
Despite his age, Kulikov managed to play in 68 games with the Florida Panthers his first season, showing high levels of skill and confidence. Kulikov owns tremendous offensive insticts and boasts plenty of projection in his frame and all-around upside. Dale Tallon, the current Florida Panthers General Manager has expressed that they have very high expectations on the young defenceman. In the 198 games he has played in for the Panthers, Kulikov has 13 goals and 57 assists for 70 points.
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