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Admirals Add Two Lightning Top Prospects

March 16, 2010 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Norfolk Admirals News Release

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Admirals have added Tampa Bay Lightning prospect forwards Carter Ashton and Richard Panik to their roster. Ashton has been assigned to the Admirals by the Lightning from his junior team while Panik has been signed to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO).

Ashton, 18, a 6-foot-3, 207-pound right wing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, split this season between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. In 28 games with Lethbridge, he posted 13 goals and 26 points. He was then traded to Regina, where he scored 11 goals and 25 points.

The Lightning drafted Ashton in the first round (29th overall) in last summer's NHL Entry Draft. He was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract by the Lightning on October 2. Ashton played in three games with the Lightning this preseason, recording one goal before being assigned to his junior team.

Last season, Ashton recorded 30 goals and 50 points with Lethbridge, leading the Hurricanes in goals and power play goals with ten while ranking fifth in points. Ashton has compiled 59 goals and 110 points in 177 career WHL games between Lethbridge and Regina.

Panik ("PAN-ihk"), 19, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound right wing from Martin, Slovakia, split this season between the Windsor Spitfires and the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. In 33 games with Windsor, he posted nine goals and 18 points. After being acquired by Belleville, Panik notched 12 goals and 23 points in 27 games.

The Lightning drafted Panik in the second round (52nd overall) in last summer's NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in two games with the Lightning this preseason and had two shots on goal before being returned to his junior team.

Panik played in 15 games for Trinec of the Czech Super League last season, recording a goal and two points. He also played in 16 games with Trinec's junior team, registering 10 goals and 19 points. Panik's season was cut short due to injury.

Panik has had a great deal of success in international play during his career. He played in seven games for Slovakia in the 2009 World Junior Championships, recording two goals and five points. He was tied for third on the team in both goals and points. Panik also participated in the 2008 World Under-18 Junior Championships, recording four goals and 10 points in six games.

During his Super League career Panik has amassed a goal and two points in 21 games. In the Czech junior league he accumulated 45 goals and 81 points in 55 games.

Ashton will become the second-youngest player and Panik the third- youngest to lace up the skates for a Norfolk Admirals game in the team's AHL history. If he plays on Wednesday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Ashton will make his professional debut at age 18 year, 11 months and 16 days and Panik will be 19 years, one month and ten days old. The youngest player in Norfolk Admirals (AHL) history was Dana Tyrell, who made his debut at 18 years, ten months and 28 days old on March 21, 2008 while on an Amateur Tryout Contract.

The Admirals will travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a pivotal East Division matchup against the Penguins tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. They will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday nights to face off against the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:15 p.m. both nights.

Friday night, the first 3,000 fans will receive an Admirals team poster courtesy of SUPERCUTS and The Virginian-Pilot. Friday is also Cheesy Noisemaker Night to Benefit Wave City Care. Fans are encouraged to bring boxes of non-perishable food to the game to use as noisemakers before donating them to those in need in the Hampton Roads area. Fans may also purchase discounted fundraising tickets for the game on norfolkadmirals.com.

Saturday night, the first 2,500 fans will receive an Admirals pennant courtesy of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Saturday is also Admirals Puck Crawl night with a $20 package including tickets to the game and discounts at area establishments before the game. Saturday is also Virginia Beach City Public Schools Night with discounted tickets available for all students, teachers and staff.

For complete details of all promotions, ticket offers and giveaways, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.

To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Don't miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals' Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!

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