Ondrej Palat’s big rookie season in the NHL has a big payoff.
Palat scored 23 goals and had 59 points this season in Tampa and is a finalist for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Palat and fellow Calder finalist Tyler Johnson teamed up to take the Lightning by storm with their success this season. Coach Jon Cooper used their chemistry from their time in the AHL together in Syracuse to their advantage to get the team back to the postseason.
Fun fact: Palat and Johnson have the same exact contract now.
In the playoffs, Palat had two goals and three points in three games as the Lightning were swept out by the Montreal Canadiens.
Palat’s big season was good enough to get him noticed by the Czech National Team as he participated in the 2014 Sochi Games. He was a seventh-round pick of the Lightning back in 2011 and is expected to pick up where he left off this season.