The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed right wing Richard Panik to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Panik, 6-foot-1, 218 pounds, played in 51 games with the Guelph Storm and Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League this season. He amassed 27 goals and 56 points between the teams after being traded from Belleville to Guelph on December 2. Panik also added seven power play goals and one shorthanded. He made his OHL playoffs debut this season, notching a goal and three points in six games for the Storm.
A native of Martin, Slovakia, Panik has played in 111 career OHL regular season games with Guelph, Belleville and the Windsor Spitfires. During that time he recorded 48 goals and 97 points. Panik has also excelled in international competition, representing his native Slovakia. He participated in last summer’s World Championships in Germany and recorded two assists in six games. Panik also skated in the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa, recording two goals and five points in seven games, placing him third on the team for points and tied for third in goals.
Panik was selected by the Lightning in second round, 52nd overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.