LIGHTNING SIGN LEFT WING RADEK SMOLENAK
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed left wing Radek Smolenak to a standard three-year Entry Level contract, it was announced by Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster.
Smolenak, 19, led the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs in goals (42) and tied for first in power-play goals (12) in 2005-06 while finishing third on the team in points with 84 in 65 games. A 6-foot-3, 197-pound native of Prague, Czech Republic, Smolenak tied for 11th in the OHL in goals and tied for 15th in points last season.
"Radek is a highly skilled player with a nose for the net and the ability to score goals," Feaster said. "His offensive abilities cannot be taught, and are exactly what we lack in terms of our organizational depth. At the same time, he is also a young man with a lot of work to do in terms of his consistency and his work ethic. His path to the NHL will be in direct proportion to the desire and willingness he demonstrates to learn our system, be responsible without the puck, including puck pursuit and pressure within our system, and to work consistently hard not just game to game, but shift to shift.
"The tools - including size, skill, skating ability and reach, are all there if he is willing to pay the price. We look forward to getting him started on his professional career."
Smolenak, selected by the Lightning in the third round, 73rd overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, established himself as a top scorer in four seasons with Kladno of the Czech Junior Leagues, tallying 91 goals and 155 points in 143 games from 2000-01 to 2003-04. He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2004 World Under-18 Championships winning a Bronze Medal.