Tampa Bay Times Forum just as the sun sets on Game Night. Credit: Tasha Meares

Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Defenseman Andrej Sustr

It looks like Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has been quite busy this week. On Thursday, he signed stand out collegiate defenseman Andrej Sustr to a two-year, entry level deal.

Last season with the UNO Mavericks, Sustr netted 9 goals and 16 assists for a total of 25 points in the 39 games that he suited up for.

During his career at the school, he played in a total of 111 games, scoring 15 goals and 36 assists for a total of 51 points. He also boasts a plus-24 career rating.

Sustr was a highly sought after defenseman. After deciding for forego his senior year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, he was sought by approximately 20 different NHL teams.

He towers at 6 feet 8 inches tall. I want you all to keep in mind that Victor Hedman is 6’6, so Sustr is taller than even him. With this kind of height comes an amazing reach, something that will surely come in handy on the ice.

Along with that incredible reach, it is said that Sustr has incredible stick handling skills, and is said to be extremely mobile with solid puck handling skills. This is something that the Lightning are in dire need of right now. Unnecessary turnovers have been the bane of the team’s existence in the last month or so.

As I have said previously, the Lightning has some rather large holes in the defense right now. It looks to me as if Mr. Yzerman has made it his mission to start filling some of those holes with quality defensemen.

This movement can also be seen in the signing of defenseman Slater Koekkoek this week.

The Plzen, Czech Republic native is no stranger to Tampa as he attended the Lightning Prospect Camp this past summer.

While there are no NHL Games included in the terms of his contract this year, you can expect to see him in action on the ice for at least a few games this season. He will be further evaluated by the Lightning following each of those performances.

Sustr is eligible to join the Lightning’s AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch, and may be assigned there to aid them into their upcoming post-season run.

 

Are you excited to see the Lightning adding so many young faces to the struggling defense? What place do you think Sustr has in the Lightning’s current defensive lineup? Let us know in the comments below.

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