The Detroit Red Wings have signed 23-year-old forward Tomas Tatar to a three-year deal, the team announced Monday.
In his first full NHL season this past year, Tatar appeared in 73 games with the Red Wings, scoring 19 goals and 20 assists.
Detroit drafted the native of Slovakia at 60th overall in the 2nd round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Since the 2009-10 season, he appeared in 265 games with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. Tatar established himself early on as a goal scorer and strong two-way forward in the AHL, and this past season the NHL finally got the chance to see him prove himself at a higher level.
Fans in Detroit were not disappointed as they watched Tatar score some highlight-reel goals (see video below). Moreover, he displayed a fierce competitiveness and desperation to earn his spot in Mike Babcock's lineup each night. Although he's not a relatively big winger (5'11" and 176 pounds) he's strong on the puck and can play physical. With impressive speed at times, Tatar showed he knows how to be effective at both ends of the ice.
He failed to find much offense at all in the post season against the Boston Bruins, as did many of his young teammates.
At left wing, the Red Wings need him to rack up points, an area in which he's shown he has some promise.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Tatar's new deal comes with a $2.75 million annual average.