2008-09: Ondrej Palat had a breakout season in his second season with HC Vitkovice in the Czech U-20 League. In 42 regular season games, he scored 23 goals with 33 assists. In ten playoff games, he had 8 goals with 6 assists for HC Vitkovice. Playing for the Czech squad at the World Junior U-18 Championships, he had one goal with no assists in six games. Palat was ranked 58th amongst European Skaters in Central Scouting's mid-term rankings but not listed among the 30 European players in their final rankings and he was not selected in the 2009 NHL Draft. Palat was taken by the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL in the first round (10th overall) of the CHL Import Draft.
2009-10: Palat had a solid, if unspectacular, first season in North America playing on a Drummondville club that won the QMJHL Central Division and had the second-best record in the league. In 59 games, he scored 17 goals with 23 assists and accumulated 24 PMs with a +33 plus/minus. Palat was limited to just seven of the Voltigeurs' 14 playoff games and scored 1 power play goal with 1 assist and was -1 plus/minus. Palat was not ranked by Central Scouting and was not selected in his second year of eligibility in the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Palat tied Philadelphia Flyers first round pick Sean Couturier for the team lead with 96 points as the Voltigeurs finished second to the Montreal Juniors in the QMJHL West division. Palat scored 39 goals (15 on the power play) and had 57 assists and was +37 in 61 games during the season. Palat's 263 shots on goal were the third most in the league. In ten playoff games, he scored 3 of his 4 goals on the power play with seven assists and was -1. In six games for the Czech Republic at the World Junior U-20 championships, he scored 2 goals with 1 assist. Despite his gaudy offensive numbers, Palat was not ranked by Central Scouting and was selected by the Lightning in the 7th round (208th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011-12: Palat had the type of season common with 20-year-olds playing their first season in the AHL. After starting off slowly and seeing limited ice time early on, his numbers picked up in the second half and he played a full-time role with the AHL-champion Norfolk Admirals in the playoffs. Palat scored 9 goals with 21 assists in 61games (with 20 of his 30 points coming in the last 25 games). In 18 playoff games he scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was plus-eight with 6 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Palat made his NHL debut in March, skating in 14 games with the Lightning, and was one of the top scorers for Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate in Syracuse in his second pro season. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +1; averaging 13 minutes of ice time per game for Tampa Bay. In 56 regular season games for Syracuse he scored 13 goals with 39 assists and was +26 with 35 penalty minutes. The Crunch finished first in the East Division and reached the AHL Finals against Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids. Palat was the leading scorer for Syracuse in the playoffs. He had 7 goals with 19 assists and was +11 with 12 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games.
Drafted as a 19-year-old, Palat's main strength is his nose for the net. Creative in the offensive zone, he has a knack to finding open ice and sniping clutch goals. He also has the ability to find some extra room on the ice with some surprisingly quick first few steps. But the rest of his game needs work. In addition to rounding out his game, especially his play in his own zone, Palat's lack of size and strength sometimes makes it hard for him to battle through checkers.
Long range, at the minimum, Palat should be able to score fairly consistently at the minor league level or back in Europe. Whether he can develop the strength and bulk to compete at the NHL level is uncertain.