Lightning signs college defenseman Sustr


For the second straight year, the Lightning has acquired a coveted college player, agreeing to a two-year, entry-level deal with University of Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Andrej Sustr, 22.

The 6-foot-8, 210-pounder, with nine goals, 25 points and 53 penalty minutes in 39 games this season as a junior, apparently had interest from at least 20 to 25 NHL teams. "He passes the puck well. He shoots it well. He joins the rush well," said general manager Steve Yzerman, who last year signed AHL Syracuse's J.T. Brown out of Minnesota-Duluth. "He's got a lot of tools."

Yzerman said Thursday that Sustr (pronounced SOO-ster) will join the Lightning next week in Tampa for practices and evaluation. He likely will get into several games. "We'll make decisions on a game-by-game basis," Yzerman said, adding that Sustr, from the Czech Republic, also is eligible to play for Syracuse.

Yzerman declined to comment on Western Michigan defenseman Dan DeKeyser, whom he also is interested in signing.

Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer