Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Oct 29, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

27. Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Ondrej Palat

Date: June 2011

The second half of that 2-run home run the 7th round of the 2011 NHL Draft (along with fellow forward Matthew Peca) would be forward Ondrej Palat. Selected 208th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Czech Republic native has always played a chip on his shoulder, and even more so since his selection in 2011.

Although the sturdy forward tied the Drummondville Voltigeurs in scoring with 96 points with future Philadelphia Flyers 1st round draft pick Sean Couturier and recorded 11 points for his native Czech Republic in the World Junior U-20 Championships, Palat plummeted for the 7th round.

His ability to create plays in the offensive zone and have a nose for the net while also playing well in his own defensive third cemented Palat a permanent place on the NHL roster. Even today, he continues to prove why he deserved to go higher in the draft, and has been an essential piece in the Lightning’s success.

There is no doubt that without a player like Palat who is willing to go into high traffic areas and win the puck away from opposing defenders and set up his linemates, the teams may not be where it is today. That is how large of an impact Ondrej Palat makes on a game.

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