TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have signed free agent forward David Koci to a one-year contract, Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced today.
Koci, 26, is a 6’6”, 238 lb. forward entering his eighth professional season. During his professional career, the Prague, Czech Republic, native has registered 1,131 penalty minutes. Koci split last season between the Admirals, Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs. While in the NHL with the Blackhawks, Koci notched 68 penalty minutes in 18 games – an average of nearly four penalty minutes per game. The NHL heavyweight has 156 penalty minutes in 27 NHL games over the past two seasons.
Koci was loaned to Norfolk by the Blackhawks on February 28 in a deal that saw the Lightning loan defenseman Justin Fletcher to Rockford. He finished out the season as an alternate captain for the Admirals, registering two assists and 57 penalty minutes in 21 games. In 65 career games over the past two seasons with the Admirals, the fan favorite has three assists and 280 penalty minutes.
Koci also spent seven games with the Rockford IceHogs last season, registering 25 penalty minutes. In 266 career AHL games with Rockford, Norfolk and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Koci has three goals and 22 assists with 1,065 penalty minutes.
Koci made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in 2006-07, going scoreless with 88 penalty minutes in nine games with Chicago. His first 42 penalty minutes all came in his first game on March 31, 2007, at Phoenix. Koci was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He played one season at Prince George in the Western Hockey League.
The twentieth season of Admirals hockey starts this October. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope or call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!