(Windsor) At yesterday’s NHL Draft, Spitfires Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel signed centre Richard Panik to an OHL contract that will bring Panik to Windsor for the 2009-10 season. Panik, a Slovakian forward from Trinec in the Czech leagues was selected in the second round, 52nd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in today’s NHL Entry Draft.
Panik, listed as 6’2″ and 203 pounds, played 20 games with the Czech Under-20 squad, registering 19 points and also represented his country at the Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa, helping his country advance to the medal round as he scored two goals and added three assists for five points in seven games.
The Windsor Spitfires moved up in last year’s CHL Import Draft, selecting Panik with the 10th pick overall. He remained in Slovakia for the past season but will provide the Spitfire front line with a boost for the 2009-10 campaign.
“He’s a high-end player. There will be an adjustment period but he’s a pure sniper. He gives us a scoring threat and skill level.” said Rychel.