Bajkov signs entry-level deal with Florida Panthers

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Patrick Bajkov is taking his talents to South Beach.

The overage forward from the Everett Silvertips signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers Friday, marking the fifth entry-level deal to be struck by a WHL player in the last nine days.

As the Silvertips have charged to the top of the Western Conference standings this season, Bajkov has been one of the team’s many guiding forces on an offensively-dominant squad, leading the club with 92 points (30G-62A) in 67 games. Of his 30 goals, nine have come on the power play, two were short-handed and four counted as game-winning goals.

A 6-foot-0, 185-pound product of Nanaimo, B.C., Bajkov was another late-round steal by the Silvertips in the WHL Bantam Draft, being chosen in the sixth round, 128th overall, of the 2012 draft. Since then, he’s played in 337 career WHL regular season games, registering 280 points (109G-171A). Overall, he’s totalled 37 power-play goals, two short-handed goals and 15 game-winning goals. This season, Bajkov has taken over the Silvertips’ franchise records for both goals and points. He is currently four assists away from tying Zach Hamill for the most helpers in Silvertips’ history.

“It brings tremendous excitement for us to witness this moment in Patrick’s career and we’re extremely proud of him,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. ” He has elevated his game every year and this season became not just an elite offensive presence for our club, but one across the entire league. When combining talent and dedication, his potential for success at higher levels is great.

“His progress on the ice is a testimony for current and future players in our program and we look forward to his continued contributions for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.”

In his WHL career, Bajkov has 12 multi-goal games, including two hat tricks. This season alone, he has 30 multi-point games, including a pair of five-point performances. Bajkov’s totals have him among the WHL’s best this season, placing him ninth in WHL scoring and third among all Western Conference skaters. He’s tied for the fourth-most assists in the WHL this season.

In 35 career WHL playoff games, Bajkov has 21 points (11G-10A), including eight power-play goals and one-game winning goal.

At the team level, Bajkov has received several awards during his tenure with the club, including the 2014-15 Silvertips Iron Man Award. 2016-17 Silvertips Iron Man Award, 2016-17 Silvertips Leading Scorer Award. This year he served as one of the team’s alternate captains.

“Patrick is a skilled forward who has earned this contract through hard work and dedication to his game,” Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon said. “We are pleased to have signed him and look forward to his continued development in our organization.”

The Silvertips are back in action Saturday, March 10 (7:05 p.m. PST) when they take on the Seattle Thunderbirds for the final time in the regular season.

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