Steve Yzerman did it again this year.
For the second consecutive spring, and just one year after luring highly-coveted forward prospect JT Brown from the college ranks, Yzerman pulled off a similar move Thursday evening after signing imposing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a two-year, entry-level deal.
Sustr, a standout at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, became highly sought after by approximately 20 NHL teams interested in his services after he decided to leave school and field offers from league clubs.
An attendee at Tampa Bay’s prospect camp this past summer, Sustr registered nine goals, 25 points and 53 penalty minutes in 39 games last season for Nebraska-Omaha, but with size such as his, brings much more than just offensive credentials, according to various scouting reports.
The Lightning signed Andrej Sustr to a two-year entry level contract on Thursday.
At 6-foot-8, size is obvious, perhaps as is his long reach. But for possessing such a large frame, Sustr is also said to be extremely mobile with good stickhandling skills and solid puck control abilities.
“He’s a big, mobile, right shot defenseman with very good skills. We feel he has great potential to develop into a good NHL player,” Yzerman said. “We’re excited to have him join our organization.”
Sustr also has a right-handed shot, which, of course, could prove invaluable on the power play, and perhaps already has, at least at the collegiate level.
Of his nine goals last season, four were scored on the power play and he also ranked tied for second on the Mavericks with 10 power play points.
He is reportedly physical too, but not overly physical.
NHL games this season are not included in the terms of Sustr’s contract, but the native of Plzen, Czech Republic is expected to see some action with the Lightning this season and be evaluated following each performance. He is also eligible to join the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League to aid in the team’s postseason run.