Erik Gustafsson Signs With Philadelphia Flyers

Erik Gustafsson

Defenceman Erik Gustafsson has signed with a new team. The 28-year-old didn’t have the season many might have expected but he remains a quality offensive blueliner after four seasons in the league. The deal is for one year at three million dollars. The deal was announced Monday afternoon.

Erik Gustafsson Signs With Philadelphia Flyers

Gustafsson wasn’t nearly as productive as expected in 2019-20 but he still had a fine year split between the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames. He posted six goals and 29 points in 66 games. Most of that with Chicago before his trade but the spring shutdown severely cut into his regular-season production afterwards. He scored 17 goals and 60 points in 79 games last year. 2018-19 was outstanding but that is likely an unrepeatable season for a couple of reasons. He shot 10.6 percent which is very high for a defender and 13 of the goals came at even strength. Those results are very difficult to replicate given where Gustafsson plays.

Gustafsson is probably only a 25-30 point defender but that is still fine for many teams. His new team certainly knows he is an average defenceman in terms of possession with a Corsi For near or below 50 percent in his last two campaigns. That isn’t a serious negative but it does limit Gustafsson to the offensive zone and the power-play. He simply seems like a blueliner who needs some heavy scripting regarding his usage but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a quality scoring defender.

What This Means for the Future

Gustafsson could use a good season or two to recapture some of his 2018-19 magic. He didn’t have a long run with Calgary but did post four assists in the team’s 10 playoff games. That could be a boost going in 2020-21. The former fourth-round pick will be a reasonable addition to a team that wants to boost its power-play for next season.

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