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Panthers sign former AHL All-Star defenseman

The Florida Panthers, parent club of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, have signed defenseman Clay Wilson to a two-year contract.

“Clay is a versatile and mobile player who was one of the top defensemen in the American Hockey League last season,” said Panthers assistant general manager Randy Sexton. “He has played a handful of games in the National Hockey League and understands what it takes to compete at this level and will be given the opportunity to compete for a spot on our team in training camp.”

Wilson, 26, split last season between the Atlanta Thrashers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, as well as their American Hockey League affiliates in Chicago and Syracuse. He recorded a career-best 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 70 AHL games with the Wolves and Crunch in 2008-09, and had one assist in seven games between the Thrashers and Blue Jackets.

In 280 career AHL games with Chicago, Syracuse, Portland and Grand Rapids, Wilson has totaled 47 goals and 125 assists for 172 points. He participated in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic, held in Binghamton, N.Y.

Wilson made his NHL debut during the 2007-08 campaign playing for Columbus, appearing in seven games, scoring one goal with one assist.