Ondrej Palat re-signs with Lightning for three seasons, $10 million
The Lightning have re-signed both of their Calder Trophy finalists, inking Ondrej Palat to the same three-year, $10 million extension as Tyler Johnson.
And just like Johnson, Palat's deal is worth $10 million over the three seasons per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, increasing in actual salary each season in the deal.
Palat exploded onto the scene this season with the Lightning, a big reason why they were able to navigate through the loss of Steven Stamkos for much of the season in Tampa. He finished second to Nathan MacKinnon in rookie points, finishing with 59 in 81 games including 23 goals.
Not only was he a bit of a revelation offensively but his defensive game showed a lot of promise as well. Coach Jon Cooper used Palat in all situations and the Lightning excelled when he was playing, shown by his plus-30.
He exceeded even his own expectations.
Palat looking back on season success: "I didn't expect it at all. I thought I'd be on the 3rd or 4th line, maybe a healthy scratch."— Missy Zielinski (@Missy_Zielinski) June 9, 2014
Palat was a seventh-round pick by the Lightning in 2011 out of the Czech Republic. Already that looks like a major steal in the draft.
GM Steve Yzerman still has a lot of work to do this summer with his roster. He still has seven restricted free agents remaining including Richard Panik and Alex Killorn as well as five unrestricted free agents, led by Ryan Callahan (all per Cap Geek).
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