Defenseman Karel Betik was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in round five of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, 112th overall after playing two years in the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets. He came to North America at the age of 18 after starring in the Czech junior league with HC-Vitkovice.
In his first year as a pro Betik was sent to the IHL's Cleveland Lumberjacks to develop his skills although he was called up for three games by the Lightning where he contributed a pair of assists.
Despite his good size, Betik seemed unable to adapt to the quick NHL style and often seemed out of place during his short tenure in the league. He joined the IHL's Detroit Vipers in 1999-00 but his overall game did not seem to be progressing as quickly as most had hoped. By 2001-02 Betik was playing with the B.C. Icemen of the UHL still hoping to one day return to the NHL