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Flyers courting 6-foot-8 defenseman Andrej Sustr


hf101
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With the end of some NCAA hockey seasons last weekend, the race to ink undrafted free agents is on.

The Flyers have already begun courting Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Andrej Sustr, who officially announced on Monday that he will not be returning to school for his senior season. He’s a player the Flyers have kept their eye on for years.

It’s easy to see why. Sustr, 22, is a 6-foot-8 physical specimen on the blue line. He is a Czech Republic native but has been playing North American hockey since 2008, when he joined Kenai River in the United States’ second-tier NAHL junior league.

The scouting report on Sustr is that he "skates fine" and he's a good puck mover, but his decision-making process could be improved.

For teams like the Flyers, who aren’t opposed to signing free agents to maximum ($925,000) entry-level deals, undrafted college players are an important avenue to restock the farm system.

Monday night’s opponent, Tampa Bay, might have the inside track for Sustr's rights. He participated in their prospect camp last summer, along with the Penguins. Many teams are interested, but a decision from Sustr’s camp does not appear to be imminent. It is believed Sustr would like to weigh all of his options. Vancouver, Detroit, Los Angeles and Ottawa are also among the reportedly interested parties, aside from the Flyers, Lightning and Penguins.

Vancouver signed Lake Superior (Mich.) State Univ.'s Kellen Lain already.

The Flyers lost out on undrafted prospect J.T. Brown last year to the Lightning. Brown, out of Minnesota-Duluth, wanted the guarantee of playing in the NHL immediately upon leaving school. Tampa Bay was out of the playoff race, easily able to meet Brown’s demand and offer him five games at the end of the season. The Flyers weren’t in a position to give up a roster spot. Brown has 23 points in 37 games for AHL Syracuse this year.

Perhaps, if the Flyers are out of the playoff race in a couple weeks, a taste of the NHL is something they could offer this time around.

The Flyers were also pursuing Western Michigan defenseman Danny DeKeyser last spring, who decided to stay in school. It's hard to imagine the Flyers would have suddenly stopped being interested in DeKeyser one year later. More than 20 teams were linked to DeKeyser last season, with Detroit believed to be a front-runner. DeKeyser will be on the market once Western Michigan's season is over. The Broncos were swept out of the CCHA playoffs last weekend, so they'll await word this week whether they've qualified for the NCAA tournament.

College hockey is in the process of playing their conference tournaments. More free agents will also draw interest after their season ends.

The Flyers have found a fair amount of success with undrafted free agents. Matt Read jumped right from Bemidji (Minn.) State to scoring 24 goals in the NHL last season. Harry Zolnierczyk went undrafted out of Brown. They did not find as much success with prospects Mike Testwuide and Luke Pither, who were both traded this season. The jury is still out on Phantoms forward Tyler Brown.

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@hf101 My question is this, why not take a 7th round flyer on him last year if he has been on their radar for several years? It eliminates the whole race to sign him, cuts him out of the big pay day and gives us a legit prospect. Why leave him undrafted and set up a scenario where he goes to the highest bidder?

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Sustr signed a two year deal with Tampa Bay.

So that means we'll trade for him after he becomes a bust in Tampa.

And then he'll play mediocre defense in Philly for a few years before signing a huge contract elsewhere.

Oh wait, that was Carle. :wacko:

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@hf101 My question is this, why not take a 7th round flyer on him last year if he has been on their radar for several years? It eliminates the whole race to sign him, cuts him out of the big pay day and gives us a legit prospect. Why leave him undrafted and set up a scenario where he goes to the highest bidder?

I believe he wasn't draft eligible last year since he has been playing in NA since 2008. And I will assume that when he was draft eligible there were other defensemen on the list to draft ahead of Sustr.

Entry Draft Eligibility

All players age 19 or older [(i) any player who will be age 18 on or before September 15 in the year in which such Entry Draft is held, or (ii) reaches his 19th birthday between September 16 and December 31, both dates included, next following Entry Draft, can attain eligibility by delivering to the League a written notice (Opt in Form) prior to the later of May 1, or seven days following the date such player finishes competing on his team in the year in which such draft is to be held.] are eligible for claim in the Entry Draft, except:

(i) A Player on the Reserve List of a Club, other than as a try-out;

(ii) A player who has been claimed in two prior Entry Drafts;

(iii) A player who previously played in the League and became a free agent pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement;

(iv) A plyer age 21 or older who had played hockey for at least one season in North America when he was age 18, 19 or 20

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26377

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well he's gone now...Yzerman grabbed him, promised him immediate NHL ice time supposedly. So the big man is going to Tampa.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20130322_Flyers_hope_to_hit_the_reset_button.html

"Tampa Bay agreed to terms with 6-8 defensive prospect Andrej Sustr on Thursday, 4 days after he officially announced he was not returning to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for his senior season. The Flyers had been tracking Sustr for years and made at least one pitch earlier this week for his services."

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My question is this, why not take a 7th round flyer on him last year if he has been on their radar for several years?

HAHAHA....then there would be no drama...and he would rot on the Phantoms...like Oliver Laurisden...never to get a glimpse of what it would be like to skate with the big boys...if for no other reason than to just see what he could do with a callup.

Edit: That is back to back years Stevie Y has landed the hottest undrafted prospects...last year he landed JT Brown...can't blmaed them the Flyers are in disarray!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by OccamsRazor
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I wonder why they didn't close the deal with this guy - the story talks about following him "for years" and then suddenly - poof! - he signs with the Lightning. But all in all Homer's team has done pretty well finding, tracking and signing un-drafted players.

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Barrie won 3-1. Camara with the empty netter sealed a much closer game than anyone was expecting. Neiderberger was great. Scheifele and Knights castoff Athanasiou made up the 3 stars. Beyers had a goal and assist. I'd expect the next game to be...not so close.

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