Hamrlik was the first player ever drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who selected the Czechoslovakia-born defenseman with the No. 1 pick in the 1992 NHL Draft. He stepped into the NHL as an 18-year-old and finished with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 67 games in the expansion team's first season.
Hamrlik had his best offensive season with 65 points (16 goals, 49 assists) in 1995-96, helping the Lightning qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time. But the Lightning traded him to the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 30, 1997.