Ondrej Palat, LW
Hometown: Frydek-Mistek, Czech
Drafted: 2011 by Tampa Bay Lightning, 208th Overall
February 2014 – Ondrej Palat continues to exceed expectations in his first full NHL season while playing top line minutes with Tampa Bay. Palat scored five goals with 16 points in 15 games which earned him the NHL’s rookie of the month honor. Palat also recently set a Lightning rookie franchise record eight-game point streak (four goals and 10 points) from December 23rd through January 9th. Palat’s strong two-way play was likely instrumental in being named to the Czech Republic’s Olympic squad. Palat ranks second among all NHL rookies in ice time averaging 17:14 and fourth among all rookies in points with 31. Palat is a player to watch because there’s a good chance he’ll continue playing on the top line with Marty St. Louis when Steven Stamkos returns to the lineup. Randall Buschmann
January 2014 – Palat set a new franchise record when he recorded at least one point in eight straight games from December 28th to January 9th. In total, Palat produced four goals and 10 points playing almost exclusively with Martin St. Louis and Tyler Johnson on Tampa Bay’s interim top line. His nine goals and 22 points in 47 games ranks ninth among all NHL rookies. While he has clearly earned the trust of Tampa Bay’s coaching staff, he’s received very little time on the power play. In fact, only one of Palat’s 22 points came on the power play, indicating potential for his fantasy value to increase even more if he starts playing regularly on the man-advantage. Randall Buschmann
October 2013 – Palat has earned a spot on Tampa Bay’s opening night roster after impressive training camp and preseason showings. He’s slated to start on the third line with his Syracuse linemates Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik. The trio has proven to be an effective line together in the AHL and their success together has translated to the NHL very well so far. Randy Buschmann
June 2013 – Palat is yet another strong prospect that is entrenching himself for promotion at the beginning of 2013-14 to become a player that should be relied upon in Tampa to produce. After being called up in early-March, he posted four point and a positive five rating in a 14 game debut. He currently leads the Syracuse Crunch and the league in playoff scoring with 20 points in 12 games while he waits to find out his opponent in the Calder Cup finals. In the regular campaign he posted 52 points in 56 games good enough for top 30 in league scoring. The seventh round pick looks like he will become a steal for the Lightning and become a productive fantasy contributor soon. Jason Banks
January 2013 – Ondrej Palat is quickly establishing himself as one of Syracuse Crunch’s best and most consistent players, both offensively and defensively. Palat has earned extra ice time this season and has not disappointed. He’s shooting the puck more frequently and is a constant threat on the ice. Palat is currently tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 26 points in 32 GP, which also ranks him among the top 30 scorers in the AHL. This is a significant increase of production from his rookie AHL season, where he had only 30 points in 61 GP. Palat is a two way forward in every sense of the term, and arguably Syracuse’s top penalty killer. Palat battles in the “dirty” areas of the ice and showcases his underrated playmaking ability on a nightly basis. He’s a relentless worker, constantly leading the play and usually the first player on the puck. Syracuse head coach Jon Cooper says “he’ll do it all if you ask him to”. Palat receives high praise from his coach on a regular basis, which is encouraging considering the amount of talent Syracuse has on the roster. Randy Buschmann
Fantasy Outlook: C
Due to his overall skill set, he’s an ideal candidate for a complimentary scoring line role, or would make a solid third line winger. However, there’s no shortage of competition for scoring line roles in Tampa Bay. Palat is on the cusp of being a regular on the Bolts and should be considered as a pickup as needed.
Palat scores an AHL goal
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