Dryden Hunt will begin his hockey season with the Florida Panthers. Photo courtesy Florida Panthers

Dryden Hunt will begin his hockey season with the Florida Panthers. Photo courtesy Florida Panthers

Dryden Hunt to start season with Florida Panthers

It’s the first time Hunt will start an NHL campaign on opening night

Dryden Hunt will be wearing a Florida Panthers jersey when the NHL season begins.

The Nelson native made the team’s 23-man roster at the end of training camp and will play for the Panthers when they open the season Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hunt had one assist in three pre-season appearances.

Hunt, 23, has three goals and eight assists in 42 career NHL games over the last two seasons. Last season he also scored 23 goals and 21 assists with the Springfield Thunderbirds in the AHL.

An undrafted left winger, Hunt was signed by the Panthers in March 2016 in his final season of junior hockey when he recorded 58 goals and 58 assists with the Moose Jaw Warriors while also winning the WHL’s MVP award.

Related: Late bloomer: Dryden Hunt’s dream season