Lukas Parik developed a strong working relationship with Matt Millar shortly after being taken by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Now, the two will work even closer together.
Parik, who played a pivotal role in the Dubuque Fighting Saints turning around this season, on Wednesday signed with the Kings’ top minor league affiliate and will report to the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign in the fall. Millar, a former goaltending coach in Dubuque, develops all goalies in the Kings’ system and spends the bulk of his time in Ontario, Calif., with the AHL team.
“It’s really nice to work with someone who knows my game and knows me as a person,” Parik, 20, said earlier this season after Millar paid him a visit in Dubuque. “He watches all of my games either live or on video, and we talk or text all the time, so he can tell me what I’m doing right and point out areas where I can improve. And it’s pretty cool that he can come out for a few days and get on the ice with me at practice. It’s meant a lot to my development.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound native of Neratovice, Czech Republic, joined the Saints in late January after representing his country at the World Junior Champinships in Edmonton, Alberta. He went 15-8-3-1 with a 3.35 goals against average and .867 save percentage to help a team that started 1-10-0 qualify for the United States Hockey League playoffs for a league-best 10th consecutive year.
The highlight came on the final night of the regular season, when he posted a 22-save shutout in a 6-0 victory that secured a playoff berth. It was his sixth win in the month of April.
“Lukas came to Dubuque after the World Juniors and helped us turn our season around. He is a true competitor with lots of energy,” Dubuque general manager Kalle Larsson said. “We are excited for him signing with the Ontario Reign and would like to thank him for his time in Dubuque.”
The Kings selected Parik in the third round, 87th overall, in 2019 after starring in his native Czech Republic. He spent the following season with Spokane (Wash.) of the Western Hockey League and went 22-7-2 with a 2.73 GAA and .917 save percentage. That season, he became the first goaltender to post a shutout and score a goal in the same game.
Parik is the third Dubuque alumni to sign a professional contract in the past two months. Alex Steeves signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs after three seasons at Notre Dame, and Tyce Thompson inked a deal with the New Jersey Devils after three seasons at Providence College.