The Nottingham Panthers continued their impressive offseason retool on Friday [23 June], with the arrival of homegrown forward Logan Neilson on a one-way contract.
The 20-year-old returns to the East Midlands after six seasons of junior hockey in North America, which saw him outpace the point-per-game scoring throughout his stint with the ‘AAA’ West Coast Renegades.
Neilson split last season between the North American Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League, tallying 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 34 appearances for the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays and 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 20 appearances for the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys.
“Logan has a great shot and is good around the net, as well as being strong on the boards,” said Panthers head coach Jonathan Parades.
“He’s a player that we feel that can develop within the group and add value in the line-up with his size. His love for the game and work ethic is something that really is exciting and we are looking forward to working with him.”
Neilson added: “I’m really looking forward to joining the Panthers and it’s a club very close to my heart. I felt like I was ready to come back home. Talking to Jonathan (Paredes) and Omar (Pacha), it seems like a really good opportunity.
“There is no better place to play than here. I had offers from other teams but as soon as Nottingham came into the picture, there was no contest.”
Analysis: Why you shouldn’t bet against Logan Neilson and the Nottingham Panthers
There was never any doubt that Logan Neilson would follow in the footsteps of his father, Corey Neilson, and put pen to paper with the Nottingham Panthers.
Neilson is viewed as a top prospect by Team Great Britain and is expected, at some point down the line, to join his brother – Cade Neilson – on the senior roster.
Why? Because the towering forward boasts all of the key attributes to become a top player homegrown player in the Elite League – and perhaps even beyond.
Neilson, who will make his professional debut for the Panthers in September, is a well-rounded offensive presence with a wicked shot and the physicality needed to dominate net-front and board battles.
With that said, he returns to the East Midlands as an unfinished product – as you would expect from a 20-year-old with zero senior experience.
It is therefore down to the Panthers to help Neilson elevate his craft at the professional level and make his mark in the Elite League.
Betting against him would be unwise.