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Florida Panthers sign Shawn Matthias to entry-level contract

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers have signed forward Shawn Matthias to an entry-level deal.

The 19-year-old was acquired by Florida as part of the deal that saw Todd Bertuzzi go to Detroit on Feb. 27. Matthias has 19 goals and 37 assists for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League this season.

"We feel Shawn will make an impact in Florida in the near future," said Panthers GM and head coach, Jacques Martin, in a release Friday. "He has been very successful in junior hockey and now Shawn is ready to take the next step to professional hockey. He is a high-character individual who fits perfectly into what we look for in a Florida Panthers player."

The 6-4, 213-pound Mississauga, Ont., native is on Canada's team for the upcoming world junior hockey championship.

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