Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas impressed the Lightning so much during his 22 games in the NHL this year, he was quickly signed to a new deal.
Gudas, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent in the summer, signed a new three-year contract, the team announced Monday. While financial terms were not released, it is believed to be a one-way contract for all three years.
A third-round pick in 2010, the 6-foot, 205-pound defenseman was called up on March 12 and played the final 22 games of the season with Tampa Bay, finishing with two goals, five points and a plus-three rating to go with 38 penalty minutes.
He is currently playing with Syracuse in the American Hockey League playoffs.
We are extremely happy to have Radko signed for another three years, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. He played well in his first NHL season and we look forward to him playing an important role on our defense in the coming years.
Known for his hard-hitting style, Gudas proved a steady presence on the backline. He showed some needed poise with the puck in getting Tampa Bay out of its own end and was a physical presence in front of the Lightning net.
Coming out of his entry-level contract, Gudas would have required waivers to be sent back down to the minors starting next season. With the one-way contract, he likely will be part of the Lightning coming out of training camp in the fall.