The Florida Panthers, parent club of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, announced today that the club has re-signed forward Janis Sprukts to a one-year deal.
"We are happy that Janis has decided to return to the Panthers’ organization after spending a year in Finland," said Panthers general manager Jacques Martin. "He has played a few games at the NHL level and understands what it takes to make it back there. We look forward to seeing Janis’ continued development within our organization."
Sprukts, 26, makes his return to the Panthers’ organization after spending the 2007-08 season with Lukko Rauma of Finnish League where he registered 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points to go along with 20 PIM in 53 games.
A native of Riga, Latvia, Sprukts broke into the North American hockey scene with Rochester during the 2006-07 campaign, capturing 59 points (18+41) en route to earning team MVP honors as well as being named the Rob Zabelny Unsung Hero award winner.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward finished his rookie season with the Amerks second on the team in points and assists with 59 and 41, respectively. Averaging 1.02 points per game, he also finished eighth among league rookies in points and was fourth on the team in playoff scoring with four points (1+3) in six appearances.
Sprukts made his National Hockey League debut that same season, notching one goal and a pair of assists in 13 games over the course of three NHL promotions to the Panthers. Sprukts appeared in his first NHL contest on Oct. 20, 2006, in Florida’s 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers after being recalled from Rochester the night before.
He scored his first NHL goal in Florida’s 7-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Apr. 6, 2007. Sprukts was originally drafted by the Panthers in 2000.