Lightning re-sign Calder finalist Ondrej Palat
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have resigned forward Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Palat, 23, skated in 81 games for the Lightning during the 2013-14 season, collecting 23 goals and 59 points to go along with a plus-32 rating. He was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy, given annually to the top NHL rookie, which will be announced on Tuesday, June 24 in Las Vegas. He ranked second among all NHL rookies for points and was third for goals. Palat also led all Lightning skaters for points and plus/minus. He became just the third player in Lightning franchise history to finish the season with a plus/minus rating better than 30.
The Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic native won NHL Rookie of the Month honors for both January and March last season. He posted a rookie franchise best, eight-game point streak from December 23 through January 9, recording four goals and six assists.
Palat has appeared in 95 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past two seasons, collecting 25 goals and 63 points to go along with a plus-37 rating. He skated in three Stanley Cup playoff games with the Lightning in 2014, recording two goals and three points.
The 6-foot, 180-pound forward represented his native Czech Republic at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, skating in four games.
Palat was originally selected by the Lightning in the seventh round, 208th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.