Panik to Join DeCoste in Belleville

The Belleville Bulls are reporting they have acquired Lightning 2009 second rounder Richard Panik in a seven player trade with Windsor.

Panik, Austen Brassard, defenseman Paul Bezzo, and goaltender Steve Gleeson were sent to Belleville with Owen Sound’s third round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, Owen Sound’s second round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection and Windsor’s seventh round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection for goaltender Philipp Grubauer, defenseman Marc Cantin, and forward Stephen Johnston to Windsor.

Grubauer is the key to the deal for Windsor, who has been in search of a reliable goaltender. USA WJC team member Jack Campbell is scheduled to join the Spits next season.

Panik, who will join fellow Lightning draft pick Kyle DeCoste in Belleville, has recorded nine goals and nine assists in 33 games played with the Spitfires this season. He also represented Slovakia at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championship where he led the team in scoring with six goals and eight points in six games played. The Martin, Slovakia native was selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

DeCoste has caught fire since being acquired from Sault Ste. Marie earlier this season. He has 11 goals and 18 points in 22 games with the Bulls. More offense was expected from Panik when the import draft pick joined the Spits this year, but he has struggled in his first North American season. Perhaps this trade will provide a boost similar to DeCoste's.