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Lightning re-sign forward Palat to three-year contract

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The Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday re-signed forward Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract.

Palat will earn $10 million over the next three seasons: $2.8 million next season, $3.2 million in 2015-16 and $4 million in 2016-17, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

Palat, 23, a finalist for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, had 23 goals, 59 points and a plus-32 rating in 81 games for the Lightning in 2013-14. He ranked second among all NHL rookies in points and was third in goals. He became the third Lightning player to finish a season with a plus-minus rating higher than plus-30.

"I didn't expect it at all," Palat said of his breakout season. "I thought I'd be on the third or fourth line, maybe a healthy scratch."

The native of Frydek-Mistek, Czech Republic, won NHL rookie of the month in January and March and established a rookie Lightning best eight-game point streak from Dec. 23 through Jan. 9 (four goals, six assists).

Palat has played in 95 NHL games, all with the Lightning, and has 25 goals, 63 points and a plus-37 rating. He had two goals and three points in four games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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