27-Year-Old Defenseman – Philadelphia Flyers
Radko Gudas Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $13.4 million contract extension with the Flyers in June 2016.
Gudas, who was representing the Czech Republic in the World Championship opener against Canada on Friday, punched Flyers teammate Claude Giroux on the chin during the first period, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A hard-nosed, occasionally pugilistic defenseman with a sometimes surprising offensive touch, Gudas will likely find an appreciative audience in Philadelphia, where hitting and fighting are still particularly treasured pieces of the hockey culture. Knee surgery ended his 2014-15 season prematurely, then he was dealt to the Flyers, who were dwelling in the cellar and could afford to wait while he recovered. Now, Gudas will take up a role on Philadelphia's third defensive pairing, where he's a good bet to return to the 20-point, 150-PIM, 250-plus-hit stat line that he accomplished in 2013-14.
Gudas is one of the best and fiercest hitters in the NHL - guys see that beard coming and start shaking in their boots. He tied with David Backes for third in the league in hits (273) and became a YouTube sensation with his truculence. He's a beast in deep formats because he will deliver 20 points, 150 PIM and as many as 300 hits in a good season. He'll hold his own in standard leagues because of his "sin bin" dominance. Draft him late and enjoy the highlights (and facial hair).
Gudas is built like a fire hydrant and hits like a Mack truck. And he immediately became a fan favorite in Tampa with his bone-rattling hits after his call-up last season. His hits can change the complexion of a game and he's defensively sound. He won't deliver many points, but he will soon be the league leader in hits. And then there's that beard. Wow.