Denver junior forward Drew Shore has signed an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers, forgoing his senior season with the Pioneers.

Florida drafted Shore in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NHL draft.

Shore, a Denver native, will report to the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage, Florida’s top affiliate, to play out the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

“We are certainly excited for Drew and his family about today’s announcement,” DU coach George Gwozdecky said in a news release. “Drew was one of the best players in the WCHA the past two seasons and he’s ready to take his game to the professional level. He set a standard as a student-athlete for all Colorado youth hockey players to achieve.”

Shore recorded 22 goals and 31 assists in 42 games for Denver this past season. In his three seasons with the Pioneers, Shore tallied 118 points on 50 goals and 68 assists.

  • PioneerHockeyFan

    It’s no surprise Drew Shore has signed with Florida rather than opting to play his senior year at D.U. Denver fans also anticipate it will be sooner rather than later that Jason Zucker heads to a professional career in the employ of the Minnesota Wild. As the long off-season from late March to early October has now started for Denver fans, there are several other fronts which bear watching.

    One: will Beau Bennett return for next season or will he sign with Pittsburgh, which holds his NHL rights. Bennett missed roughly 75% of Denver’s season and he and Pittsburgh will need to decide whether he and it are better served by his playing another year of college hockey or whether he and it are better served by his heading to professional hockey.

    Two: will defenseman David Makowski sufficiently recover from what is largely assumed to be post-concussion syndrome to the point where he is once again able to be the roughly point-a-game force he was as a freshman in the 2010-2011 season?

    Three: knowing that he has been an occasional starter and, for much of his career, no lower than the #2 goalie for the Pioneers, will senior to be Adam Murray be content to finish his collegiate career as a third string goalie behind Sam Brittain and Juho Olkinuora or will he seek to transfer elsewhere? Murray is an Alaska native and a transfer to either Alaska-Fairbanks or Alaska-Anchorage may be a consideration he is weighing. Murray has not used his “red shirt” season. If he does so in the 2012-2013 season, he could complete his degree at D.U. and then play his final year of eligibility elsewhere without having to sit behind Brittain and/or Olkinuora.

    Four: are winger Chris Knowlton and defensman Paul Phillips completely recovered from late season injuries which saw them plugged into the team’s NCAA tournament lineup almost on an emergnecy basis so as to give the team its full complement of 18 skaters? As usual the end of a team’s hockey season doesn’t eliminate all areas of concern and speculation for its fans.

    • collegehockeyfan

       Sounds like DU will have to start from virtual scratch next year…

    • OutOfTown

      Good post PHF. I saw your team play four times this season. Bennett missed most of the year and it seems to me it would be cheaper for Pittsburgh to let him develop for another year in college rather than play him and pay him in its minor league system. I think he’ll be back and be a huge plus for your team.

      Makowski is a terrfiic offensive defensman and force on the power play. His loss would be severe. If he returns he and Joey LeLaggia give the Pioneeers an outstanding set of offensive defensemen. With Josiah Dider and Scott Mayfield on the blueline as well, and Phillips if he recovers from a leg injury, D.U. will be strong on the blueline. Frankly, losing Adam Murray would be no loss at all with Brittain and Olkinuora in goal Denver will be as strong as any WCHA team in net next year. Chris Knowlton was a pleasant offensive surprise for Denver this year. It’ll be interesting to see how he does next year. If bennett and Makowski return Denver looks like a strong squad to me.

  • Pcno17

    Who cares, it’s DU.  Me thinks you think a tad too much, Pioneer.  Gauzdekky just used Murray, never really gave him a good shot at number one, and then plugged in the Finn when Brittain went down.  It’s always nice to see DU bow out early.  Good for Shore and Zucker for looking out for numero uno, that’s what it’s all about at DU.  Gauz ain’t got no fire in the belly anymore; he’s coasting toward the retirement home.  There won’t be any more championships until he’s gone.