ESPN's Katie Strang wrote and tweeted today that the Rangers are one of upwards of twenty-five teams that have expressed interest in the 6'8" Czech-born right-handed blueliner from the University of Nebraska-Omaha
The Rangers are one of the many teams interested in signing college free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr, who plans to leave the University of Nebraska-Omaha and field NHL offers, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
The Rangers obviously have need of adding some depth on the blueline and Andrej Sustr could be a good option for the team instead of paying a heavy price at the deadline. Adding Sustr might also take some of the sting out of losing this upcoming NHL Entry Draft's first-round pick to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade.
Sustr's game is that of a defensive defenseman but he supposedly does possess a big, heavy shot (how could he not at 6'8"). There is plenty of discussion about whether or not he is ready for the NHL "right now" but there isn't a lot of doubt that he has all the tools required to eventually play in the NHL.
An encouraging note about Sustr is that the Rangers very well might have an inside track on him, according to Strang:
The Blueshirts do have a connection with Sustr, who finished his junior season with nine goals and 16 assists in 39 games for UNO. The 22-year-old Czech native participated in the Rangers' development camp in 2011, although he has also skated in development camps for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning as well.
Obligatory Andrej Sustr highlight reel:
The Rangers have also expressed interest in Danny Dekesyer (what a hockey name) but Strang believes that the Red Wings have a big advantage to signing the Western Michigan U. blueliner.
Dekeyser headlines a small class of coveted college free agents, although it is believed that the Detroit Red Wings have the inside track on the 6-3, 200-pound defenseman. The Clay Township, Mich., native played youth hockey with Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill’s son, Trevor. Dekeyser also played under Jeff Blashill at WMU as a freshman. Blashill is now the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate.
If the Rangers can land either of these two players it might not only be big news for the team in the next few years but big news for this year. The beauty of signing college free agents is all that they cost the team is money and in many ways it is like a different, unique NHL Entry Draft where the players have all the power over where they end up. Hopefully Glen Sather can work some of his magic and attract one of these youngsters to New York.
Katie Strang believes Sustr's decision will come by the end of the week.
We will keep you guys posted on things as they develop.