|Rostislav Olesz (Getty Images)
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a six-year contract with LW Rostislav Olesz. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Olesz, 22, appeared in 56 games for the Panthers this past season, posting a career-high 14 goals, five of which came on the power-play, along with 12 assists. In three seasons with Florida, Olesz has played in 190 games with 77 points (33-44-77) and seven GWG.
“Rostislav is a very talented young player who we are pleased to have agreed to a long term deal with. He is a strong skater with a tremendous upside who plays well at both ends of the ice and on special teams,” Martin said. “Since being drafted in 2004, Rostislav has show consistent improvement, while demonstrating a willingness to become a more complete player. We look forward to his continued contributions to our club.”
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound winger becomes the 10th Panthers player on the current roster to have a multi-year contract entering the 2008-09 season. Olesz also joins a list of five Panthers with three or more years remaining on their contract (Vokoun-3, Allen-4, Weiss-5, Horton -5).
Olesz competed internationally for his native Czech Republic in the 2006 Olympics and the 2007 World Championship. He appeared in eight games during the Olympics with no points and a plus-two rating. In seven games during the 2007 World Championship, Olesz had two goals and three assists. He also competed for the Czech Republic in the 2005 World Junior Championship, scoring seven goals and three assists in just seven games.
Olesz was drafted by Florida with their first choice (7th overall), in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The Bilovec, Czech Republic native becomes the third Panthers first round pick since 2001 to sign a deal of six years (Horton-2003, Weiss-2001). The Panthers also signed first round picks Keaton Ellerby
(2007) and Michael Frolik (2006) to their entry level contracts earlier this summer.
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