The Florida Panthers signed defenseman Ethan Prow to a two-year, two-way contract, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon announced on Monday.
Prow, 26, was an unrestricted free agent after having a career year with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He had a breakout season offensively and was Wilkes-Barre’s leading scorer with 18 goals and 32 assists in 74 games. He was Wilkes-Barre's lone representative at the AHL All-Star Classic.
Points aside, Prow was Wilkes-Barre’s best defenseman this season. He was always a big points producer in college, but the points didn’t come easily during his last two seasons in Wilkes-Barre. As a result, he focused on growing his overall game during those years, growing stronger defensively. He's a strong skater, as well.
Prow was originally an undrafted free agent signing by the Penguins in 2016 after Prow's college career ended with St. Cloud State. After three professional seasons, he's still searching for his first NHL recall.
“You trust the process," Prow told me of his wait last season. "I know they say you have to groom defensemen a little more, so I’m just kind of sticking to that and taking the first couple years as lessons to be learned — how to play defense, focusing on your overall game. You just trust that and move forward.”
Zach Trotman was the Penguins' only defenseman recalled during the season, likely earning the shot due to his prior NHL experience, size, and physical game, things that the 6-feet, 185-pound Prow lacks. As the season went on and Prow still hadn't earned his shot despite his success on the ice, his attitude remained positive.
“I think you just have to let the dice fall where they are,” he told me. “It’s one of those things where if you worry about it too much, I think that sometimes it can affect your game a little, because you end up overthinking it. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. That’s the way I try to look at it; you don’t want to read too much into it.”