Just hours before helping the Oshawa Generals hammer the North Bay Battalion, 7-1, Serron Noel took care of some important business of his own.
The Generals power forward had plenty to celebrate earlier in the day on March 8 after agreeing to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.
“Thankful for this opportunity, extremely excited for the future,” the six-foot-five, 210-pound native of Ottawa wrote in a tweet after agreeing to the deal.
The 18-year-old, who was a second-round pick (34 overall) of the Panthers in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, is enjoying a career year with Oshawa, racking up 32 goals and 44 assists for 76 points in 63 games this season.
“Serron is a highly skilled, hard-working, young player who we believe has the potential to be an excellent power forward for the Panthers for many years to come,” Florida president of hockey operations and general manager Dale Tallon said in a release on the official Panthers website. “At just 18 years of age, his impressive combination of size, speed and character are qualities that have helped him excel this season in Oshawa.
“We are thrilled to have signed Serron and look forward to his development with the Panthers.”
The son of former Canadian Football League running back Dean Noel, Noel has scored 68 goals and added 81 assists for 149 points over 187 games and three seasons with the Generals. He has 21 multi-point games this year.
Selected to play for Team OHL in the 2018 CIBC Canada-Russia Series, he’s also represented Canada at the U17 Hockey Challenge, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the U18 World Hockey Championship.
Noel recorded an assist in the win over North Bay at the Tribute Communities Centre to help Oshawa earn its eighth win in its last 10 games. Anthony Salinitri led the attack with three goals and now has a team-best 45 on the season.
Allan McShane, Brett Neumann, Tyler Tullio and Giovanni Vallati also scored for the Generals (40-19-4-0), who also got two assists from Kyle MacLean.
Justin Brazeau, who opened the scoring with his 54 goal of the season, was the lone marksman for North Bay (27-31-3-2), which has lost seven of its last 10 games.
Kyle Keyser made 27 saves to pick up his 30 win in goal for the Generals.
Oshawa hits the road on March 9 to take on the Ottawa 67’s at TD Place, before the two East Division rivals return to Oshawa the next night to complete the home-and-home weekend set. Game time is 6:05 p.m.
photo: Oshawa Generals forward Serron Noel agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers on March 8. The 18-year-old was Florida’s second-round pick (34 overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Terry Wilson/OHL Images