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Lightning Make 5 Picks on Second Day of 2009 NHL Entry Draft

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning selected five players today during the second day of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, Quebec. The Lightning drafted right wing Richard Panik, left wing Alex Hutchings, goaltenders Michael Zador and Jaroslav Janus and defenseman Kirill Gotovets. Tampa Bay made one trade, acquiring the 148th overall pick in the fifth round from Nashville in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2010.

“It was a good day and an overall great draft for us,” Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton said. “With today’s picks we are looking more at the long term and we’re really excited about what we were able to do with our selections today. We continued to take what we felt were the best players available at each position and we feel we got some excellent prospects.”

Panik, 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, played in 15 games for Trinec of the Czech Super League last season, recording a goal and two points. He also played in 16 games with Trinec’s junior team, registering 10 goals and 19 points. Panik’s season was cut short due to injury. He is expected to join the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires next season.

“Richard is a skilled forward from Slovakia,” Lightning Head Amateur Scout Darryl Plandowski said. “He can score goals and is an excellent skater. Richard really needs to mature and get stronger but he has plenty of time to do so. He’ll be coming to North America next season with a good team and good coaches. We look forward to seeing his development over the next year or two”.

A native of Martin, Slovakia, Panik has had a great deal of success in international play during his career. He played in seven games for Slovakia in the 2009 World Junior Championships, recording two goals and five points. He was tied for third on the team in both goals and points. Panik also participated in the 2008 World Under-18 Junior Championships, recording four goals and 10 points in six games.

During his Super League career Panik has amassed a goal and two points in 21 games. In the Czech junior league he accumulated 45 goals and 81 points in 55 games.

Hutchings, 5-10, 173 pounds, recorded 34 goals and 68 points in 63 games with Barrie last season. He led the Colts in goals, points and plus/minus with a plus-27 during his third OHL season. Hutchings was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team for the second consecutive season. During the 2009 playoffs he registered seven goals, tied for the team lead, in the opening round against Mississauga.

“Alex is a small, pure goal scorer,” Plandowski said. “He can skate and has a gritty side to him. Alex should be able to really score goals and keep developing next season. We drafted him to be a goal scorer and he has a lot of up side.”

The native of Burlington, Ontario has played in 161 career OHL games, registering 64 goals and 127 points in his three-year career. He has also posted three goals and 12 points in 14 career postseason games. After recording five points in his rookie season in 2006-07, Hutchings exploded in 2007-08 with 29 goals and 54 points. He surpassed that point total by 12 last season.

Zador, 6-2, 172 pounds, played in 28 games with London and Oshawa last season. He posted a combined 11-13-0 record with a 3.65 goals-against average. He was traded from the Knights to Generals mid-season as part of the trade that sent John Tavares to London. Zador posted a 6-1-0 record with London before being traded.

“Michael played for Team Canada at the World Under 18 tournament and was their starting goaltender,” Plandowski said. “He is a tall, athletic goaltender. He lacks some strength but as he matures that should improve. Our goaltending coach, Cap Raeder, really liked him because of his athleticism.”

A native of Toronto, Zador began his junior career in 2007-08 with London. He appeared in one game, in a relief role. He played in six games during the 2009 World Under-18 Junior Championships, posting a 4-2 record and a .939 save percentage.

Janus, 5-11, 192 pounds, completed his second OHL season with Erie in 2008-09, posting a 25-20-3 record with a 3.24 goals-against average in 49 games. He lead the Otters in games played, wins with 25, shutouts with three and save percentage with .908. He also played in five playoff games with Erie, posting a shutout and a 1-4-0 record.

“Jaroslav is an older goalie at 19-years-old,” Plandowski said. “He played in Erie and saw 50-60 shots a night. He was also one of the best goalies at the World Juniors. We just felt he was good depth for our organization and there was too much upside to let him get past us.”

A native of Presov, Slovakia, Janus played well at the 2009 World Junior Championships with team Slovakia. He posted a 3-4-0 record with a 3.20 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage in seven games played.

Janus has played in 97 career OHL games, posting a 38-49-5 record with a 3.81 goals-against average.

Gotovets, 5-11, 175 pounds, patrolled the blue line for Shattuck St. Mary’s last season. He played in 50 games, recording six goals and 29 points, his first year in North America after coming over from Belarus where he played for Junost Minsk.

“Kirill is a smaller defenseman that can really skate and move the puck well,” Plandowski said. “He will go to Shattuck again next year and Cornell the season after that. He has an abundance of skill and sense. Kirill will have to get stronger due to his size, but he is definitely worth the gamble.“

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Gotovets represented his home country in both the 2008 World Under-18 Junior Championships and the 2009 World Under-18 Division 1A Junior Championships. In 2009 he recorded a goal and two points in four games while in 2008 he registered four assists in five games.

Gotovets will play with Shattuck St. Mary’s next season before attending Cornell University.

Draft Summary
Round Overall Player Pos. 2008-09 Team
1 2 Victor Hedman D MoDo (Sweden)
1 29 Carter Ashton RW Lethbridge (WHL)
2 52 Richard Panik RW Trinec (Czech)
4 93 Alex Hutchings LW Barrie (OHL)
5 148 Michael Zador G Oshawa (OHL)
6 162 Jaroslav Janus G Erie (AHL)
7 183 Kirill Gotovets D Shattuck St. Mary (USHS)

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