After bouncing from the Czech Republic to the WHL, back to the Czech leagues, and then to the USHL, all with some World Junior action mixed in, Lukas Parik finally has his first pro contract. The young goaltender has signed a one-year deal with the Ontario Reign of the AHL for the 2021-22 season.
Parik, 20, was selected 87th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2019 with a pick they received from the Washington Capitals in the Carl Hagelin deal. The season that followed that selection, he came to the WHL and played in 32 games with the Spokane Chiefs, posting a 22-7-2 record and .917 save percentage. In 2020-21, he spent most of the season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL, going 15-8-4 in the regular season but registering just an .867 save percentage.
That performance really means nothing now, as the Kings will give Parik the chance to show his skills in the minor leagues, but note this is not yet his entry-level NHL contract. He’ll still need to perform in order to receive that, but the team does have some time to continue to evaluate him. According to CapFriendly, the Kings’ exclusive draft rights will not expire until 2023. At any rate, this is a great opportunity for the 6’4″ netminder to get accustomed to professional hockey and test his skills against his toughest competition yet. The fact that both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen are scheduled for unrestricted free agency in the next two years should be motivation enough for any goaltender in the Kings system. Even if the team extends Petersen, there will be an opportunity to move up the ladder and compete for playing time at some point down the line.