Bobcats alum Turgeon signs NHL contract
July 24, 2013
By Paul Teeple, Bismarck Bobcats
After turning heads at the Florida Panthers’ 2013 Developmental Camp in south Florida, former Bobcat defenseman Tony Turgeon has signed an Entry Level Contract with the NHL club.
“It’s a dream come true. Every kid growing up says they want to play in the NHL,” admitted Turgeon, who spent the last three seasons playing NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the WCHA. “At the same time, it’s not a dream come true just yet; I haven’t made it anywhere yet. I know I have to keep working as hard as I can if I want to make it onto the Panthers’ roster.”
Turgeon, who registered 15 points along the Bobcat blue line between the 2007-08 season and the 2008-09 division championship campaign, becomes the first ever Bobcat alum to sign with an NHL franchise.
“As an organization, we couldn’t be prouder of or happier for Tony,” beamed Bobcats team owner and CEO Thom Brigl. “We’ve been following him since his time in black and gold, and we know he’ll do Bismarck/Mandan proud at the highest levels of hockey.”
Turgeon sees his time in black and gold as a jumping-off point for his career at hockey’s highest levels.
“The Bobcats were my first junior team, and I learned a lot about how to be a player and prepare myself while I was in Bismarck,” credited Turgeon, who became a fan favorite as he racked up 154 penalty minutes in 101 regular season games as a Bobcat. “I had only played high school hockey before [the 2007-08 season] so the coaching and the training I got as a Bobcat put me on the track to where I am today.”
An Entry Level Contract, under the current NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, is a two-way contract with the Panthers and their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage; having inked his deal at age 23, Turgeon is now a part of the Florida organization through 2014-15. He will start the upcoming season in San Antonio with the Rampage.
With his contract signed, the 6’4”, 230 pound defender will forgo his senior year at Nebraska-Omaha. He registered six points in three seasons with the Mavericks.
Turgeon was one of three Bobcat alums to participate in NHL Development Camps this summer: goalie Ryan Faragher (Junior, St. Cloud State) attended the New York Rangers’ camp; defenseman Dan Weissenhofer (Junior, Air Force) was in camp for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“Our first priority is player advancement,” noted Brigl, who has owned the Bobcats since 2001, “and with nearly 200 NCAA commitments in franchise history, two straight years of placing players in NHL Development Camps and now Tony’s signing with the Panthers shows that we continue to grow in that category.
“All the credit for the developmental success of our program goes to the coaches over the years, ranging back to 1997 all the way to the great job our current staff does now under Layne Sedevie.”
Faragher (Pittsburgh) and Castan Sommer (San Jose) were invited to NHL Development Camps in 2012.