The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed twenty three year olds Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, both of their Calder Cup finalists, to three-year contracts.
Johnson, a native of Spokane, Washington, who went undrafted by the WHL, is now making a name for himself in the NHL ranks. Standing at only 5-foot-9, he is one of only three players to appear in all 82 regular season games and all four of the team’s playoff games. He ranks fourth on the Lightning with his 24 goals, and fifth with his 50 points. He also led all rookies for average time on the ice, and face-offs. Out of his 96 career games, he has 27 goals and 56 points.
Before his full-time stay with the Lightning, he played in 137 games with the team’s minor league affiliate the Norfolk Admirals (now the Syracuse Crunch.) In those games he had 68 goals and 133 points, giving him the title of the AHL’s MVP in 2013. During his time with the Admirals he recorded 16 goals and 35 points, helping them to win the Calder Cup in 2012 and make a return to the finals in 2013.
He signed his contact extension just after returning from the IIHF World Championships where he recorded six goals in eight games with Team USA.
The six-foot Ondrej Palat missed only one game with the Lightning last season and ended with a plus-32 rating with his 23 goals and 59 points. He led all Lightning skaters in plus/minus, and became only the third player in Lightning history to finish the season with a plus/minus rating better than 30.
He has played in 95 career games with the Lightning and won Rookie of the Month honours in both January and March. Between December 23-January 9, he had an eight-game point streak where he recorded four goals and six assists.
A native of Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic, he represented his country at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia where he skated in four games.