TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have signed left wing Juraj Simek to a one-year, two-way contract today, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Simek, 6-foot, 197 pounds, has amassed 37 goals and 75 points in 204 career AHL games with the Admirals and Manitoba Moose. After making his Norfolk debut in 2008-09, Simek appeared in a career-high 75 games with the Admirals last season, setting AHL career-best totals for goals, assists and points. His 21 goals tied for second on the team, while his 36 points tied for fifth among all Admirals skaters. He also tied for the team lead with seven power-play goals and his 173 shots on goal marked the team’s fourth-highest total.
A native of Presov, Slovakia, Simek played in his first professional season with Manitoba in 2007-08, notching seven goals and 10 assists in 66 games. That season, his goal total tied for second among Manitoba rookies, while his assist and point totals tied for third among the team’s first-year players. He also recorded a goal in one playoff game with the Moose.
Simek played in 29 games over three seasons in the top two tiers of the Swiss League before making his North American junior hockey debut in 2006-07 with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. He appeared in 58 games with the Wheat Kings and tied for fourth on the team with 28 goals and ranked fifth with 57 points. He also ranked fourth on Brandon and fifth in the league in power-play goals with 17. He finished the year tied for fifth among all WHL skaters and ranked second among all WHL rookies in game-winning goals with six. Simek also appeared in nine playoff games with the Wheat Kings, tying for sixth on the team with six points and tying for second with five assists.
Simek was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the sixth round, 167th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Lightning from Vancouver with Lukas Krajicek in exchange for Shane O’Brien and Michel Ouellet on October 6, 2008.
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