Plekanec is playing in his first Olympic competition and at the time of selection (Dec. 30) he was the top Czech NHL scorer with 44 points (8-36-44) in 41 games.
He led his team in scoring with eight points (4-4-8) at the 2007 World Championships and won a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships.
Plekanec represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships in 2001, winning a gold medal alongside fellow 2010 Olympian Martin Erat. They went undefeated to win the Czech Republic's second straight World Junior Championship, defeating Finland for the gold.
We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.
— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday