Former St. Albert Raider defenseman Michael Benning has been signed to an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers of the NHL, the team announced today.
Benning, 21, was drafted by the Panthers in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL entry draft and has spent the last three seasons playing for the University of Denver Pioneers.
Coming of a superb NCAA season that earned him the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Defenseman of the Year Award, Benning will join fellow St. Albert-product Josh Mahura on a playoff-bound Panthers team.
Benning's older brother, Matt, is a former Edmonton Oiler who now plays for the San Jose Sharks.
Benning served as the captain of the 2016-2017 U15 AAA St. Albert Sabres, and put up 43 points in 36 regular season games. Carter and Matthew Savoie, both under contract with NHL teams, were teammates with Benning that season.