Ondrej Palat Signs Contract Extension


Jan 3, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing

Ondrej Palat

(18) skates against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Tampa Bay Lightning won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

After recently locking up Tyler Johnson, the Tampa Bay Lightning continued to re-sign their young core as they have now penned Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract extension.

According to reports, Palat will make $10 million over the three years. That is the same contract that Johnson signed.

In 81 games last season, Palat had 23 goals and 59 points to go along with a +/- of 32, becoming just the third player in franchise history to have a +/- better than 30 in a season.

His 59 points led the team and he is a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year along with Johnson and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. In three playoff games he collected a goal and two assists.

The Czech native won NHL rookie of the month honours in both January and March and also represented his country at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Palat was a seventh round pick of the Lightning in 2011 and has morphed himself into one of the Bolts’ best players.

The 23-year-old was also a major part of the Norfolk Admirals winning the Calder Cup Trophy during the 2011-12 season before making his NHL debut the following year where he recorded four points (2+2) in 14 games, splitting time at the NHL and AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.

Palat was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1 but the Lightning made re-signing Palat one of their top priorities this offseason.

The Lightning still have a number of free agents to lock up including Alex Killorn, J.T. Brown and Mark Barberio, all of whom figure to be part of the future in Tampa.