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Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson signs with Avangard Omsk of KHL

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Well so much for keeping the puck-moving youth on the Flyers blue line.

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Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson has signed a contract with Avangard Omsk of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League according to Igor Eronko of Sports.ru.

The 25-year-old Gustafsson played in 31 games for the Flyers this season scoring two goals and notching eight assists for a career-high 10 points. One issue facing the Flyers with Gustafsson’s development has been the lack of consistent ice time. He was in and out of the Flyers lineup all the way through the season and into the playoffs which included sitting out Game 5 even after Nicklas Grossmann injured his ankle in Game 4.

Gustafsson does not appear to be a star in the making but he is a decent third-pairing defenseman who can skate and move the puck – something for which the Flyers are yearning.

The Swede will likely see much more consistent ice time in the KHL and, perhaps, might be looking to come back to the NHL in the future. Gustafsson is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer but the Flyers can retain his rights if he were to come back to the NHL by extending him a qualifying offer in June.

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