The Tampa Bay Lightning have reportedly secured one of the cornerstones of their franchise in forward Ondrej Palat. According to a Friday afternoon report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the veteran left-winger has signed a new five-year contract extension with the Lightning.
The reported average annual value of the newly inked pact comes in at $5.3 million.
Ondrej Palat (T.B) has settled:
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) July 14, 2017
The 26-year-old Palat has notably spent his entire five-year NHL career as a member of the Eastern Conference franchise. While his tenure in Tampa Bay previously began back in 2012-13, he was originally selected by the Lightning in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft out of the Czech Republic.
Most recently appearing in 75 games for the Lightning in the 2017 regular season, Palat registered a total of 52 points, a mark that has become the third-highest single-season total of his NHL career. In addition, he has now registered at least 40 points in four of his five professional campaigns in the United States.
Over the course of those same 75 regular-season appearances, Palat also tallied 17 goals and 35 assists en route to the 52 points. For his NHL tenure as a whole, he has already notched 218 career points in all, thanks to 74 goals and 144 assists.
Last season, despite the presence of Palat and his offensive prowess, the Lightning produced a 42-32-10 regular-season record en route to 94 points. Tampa Bay previously made three consecutive postseason appearances before ultimately missing out on the festivities in 2016-17.