SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Florida Panthers and the Springfield Thunderbirds announced on Thursday the signing of six players to American Hockey League one-way contracts for the 2017-18 season. Among the signees are; forwards Francois Beauchemin, Matt Buckles, Anthony Greco, Ryan Horvat; along with defenseman Matt MacKenzie and goaltender Evan Cowley

Francois Beauchemin hails out of Metis-Sur-Mer, Quebec and finished his final year playing with Val d’Or Foreurs and the Charlottetown Islanders. He logged in 97 points with 35 goals and 42 assists during between the two teams during the 2016-17 campaign.

Matt Buckles will return after playing in nine games to finish out the Thunderbirds 2016-17 year.  He scored three goals and received seven assists in the nine games he logged in with the Thunderbirds. Before playing in Springfield, he finished playing in the NCAA collegiate career with Cornell University.

Anthony Greco will return for his second season with the Thunderbirds.  The 23-year old forward out of Faribault, MN finished his first professional year in the AHL. Greco played in 74 games with registering 31 points with 15 goals and 16 assists.

Ryan Horvat will begin his fourth year in the AHL. Horvat logged in 47 games during the 2016-17 year scoring five goals and registering 12 assists.  Horvat has played for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2014-15 campaign as well the Ontario Reign during the 2015-16 year.

Matt MacKenzie will begin his seventh professional season of hockey. MacKenzie played in 38 games with the Thunderbirds during the 2016-17 season, scoring four goals and 12 points.

Evan Cowley will begin his first year of professional hockey this fall. He played four seasons at the University of Colorado Pioneers. He held a 2.16 goals against average during the 2014-15 year and a 2.07 goals against average during the 2015-16 season. He won the National Championship with the Pioneers during the 2016-17 campaign.

The Thunderbirds will return for their second campaign in the AHL at the MassMutual Center with their home opener on Saturday night, October 14th.


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