Andrej Sustr, D
Hometown: Plzen, CZE
Drafted. Signed as Free Agent
October 2014 – Sustr will start the season in Tampa Bay after performing well in training camp. Barring injuries to other Lightning defensemen, don’t expect Sustr to spend the entire season with Tampa Bay. He’s still exempt from waivers and would benefit from playing 20+ minutes a night in the AHL, instead of being used in the limited role he’ll have in Tampa Bay this season. Randall Buschmann
February 2014 – Despite outplaying other Lightning defencemen, Sustr was sent to Syracuse last month so he could get more ice time. He posted seven points while receiving no power play time and averaging around 15 minutes per game with Tampa Bay. In his first game back with Syracuse, he was hurt and missed a couple weeks of action. Sustr scored a goal in his first game back from injury which marks his lone point through four games. Tampa Bay is rumored to be hunting for a defenseman to bolster their blue line. If another defenseman is acquired before the trade deadline, it’ll likely signal the last we’ll see of Sustr in the NHL this season (barring injuries of course). This wouldn’t be a bad thing though, as it’ll allow Sustr to play top pairing minutes and further develop his game both physically and mentally in Syracuse. Expect Sustr to challenge for a full-time roster spot this fall with a good chance he makes the team. Randall Buschmann
November 2013 – Sustr has suited up for 18 of Tampa Bay’s 25 games thus far, contributing no goals and six assists. He’s averaging just over 16 minutes per game while receiving no power play time. There have been a few instances where Sustr has demonstrated the ability to join the rush, but he is generally raw in the offensive side of the game. To date, the feedback on Sustr’s play could best be described as “above expectations”. He appears to be quickly earning an extended stay in Tampa Bay. Randall Buschmann
October 2013 – Sustr continues to earn high praise from Lightning management and has earned a spot on Tampa Bay’s opening night roster. Sustr has displayed a great deal of poise and confidence despite a limited amount of pro games. He still has some filling out to do but some player’s learning curves are shorter than others, so the wait on Sustr might not be as long as initially suspected. Randy Buschmann
July 2013 – Andrej Sustr is a towering presence on the ice skating at 6-foot-8 and 225 lbs. Sustr is a mobile, two-way defenseman who skates very well and has a cannon of a shot. He’s an intelligent defenseman who uses his size and superb stick work to effectively shutdown opposing players. Sustr played three seasons with Nebraska-Omaha of the WCHA and with each passing season he noticeably improved his game. Reportedly Sustr received interest from NHL teams after his sophomore season but he felt that he wasn’t ready to turn professional and decided to spend another season in the college ranks. After a dominating junior season, Sustr finally decided to leave school and field offers from NHL teams. Sustr was arguably the most coveted undrafted college free agent signing of 2013, with as many as 20 teams interested. Sustr chose to sign with Tampa Bay, a team he was familiar with from accepting an invite to their prospect camp the summer before. The Lightning brass decided Sustr was ready for a look in the NHL, suiting up for two games albeit with limited minutes. Sustr was then sent to Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse to gain some seasoning and help the team for their playoff run. Sustr contributed well and played in all situations for Syracuse, earning rave reviews from Lightning Assistant GM Julian BriseBois. The coach praised Sustr’s ability to make plays and be assertive with and without the puck, as well as his ability to handle pressure. After the 2013 NHL Entry draft, Tampa Bay’s director of amateur scouting Al Murray went on record about the signing of Andrej Sustr:
“We feel like he was a late first-round draft pick.“
It’s clear Tampa Bay is very high on Sustr and with good reason. He’ll likely spend all of the 2013-14 season playing top four minutes in Syracuse. He’s still virtually an unknown among fantasy hockey GMs, however, don’t expect that to last much longer. Randy Buschmann
Fantasy Outlook: C+
When he does finally stick in the NHL full-time, it will take a couple seasons before he’s ready to make a significant impact on the scoresheet. Sustr will hold more value in fantasy leagues which count hits and blocked shots.
Andrej Sustr’s 2012-13 Omaha-Nebraska Highlights
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