The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed restricted free agent left wing Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract worth an annual average of $5.3 million . Palat has been with the Lightning since they drafted him in the seventh round, 208th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Tampa Bay Lightning Re-Sign Ondrej Palat
Palat, 26, has spent the better part of the last four and a half seasons playing at the NHL level with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Before he was with the Lightning he was plying his trade with the Norfolk Admirals and the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
We've re-signed Ondrej Palat to a five-year deal worth $5.3 million AAV.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 14, 2017
In his first season in the AHL, in 2011-12, he played in 61 games for the Norfolk Admirals. During those 61 games he scored nine goals and added 21 assists to his total. To go along with that, he only had a total of 10 penalty minutes over the course of that season. Impressive discipline.
He spent another season in the AHL the following year with the Syracuse Crunch. During 56 games with the Crunch he saw his point production make a significant jump. Palat scored 13 goals and added 39 assists to his tally for the season, which was enough to seem him get the call up to the NHL.
He has played in 307 games since being called, all with the Lightning. He has scored 74 goals and added 144 assists during this time. This is the type of point production that every organization hopes to get from a seventh round selection. Truly a diamond in the rough.
Palat’s best season came back in 2014-15 when he scored 16 goals and had 47 assists over the course of 75 games. Almost a point-per-game pace for that season. Despite this being a career year for him, Palat’s highest goal total came the year before that when he scored 23 goals in his only 82-game season.
Ondrej Palat was previously on a three-year, $10 million contract.