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 scored an unassisted, empty-net goal during Sunday's 4-1 win over Vegas.
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Radko Gudas: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The arrival of Gudas in Philadelphia brought everything the home fans could possibly ask for – his career-high 304 hits were second in the NHL only to the Isles’ Matt Martin, and his 116 PIM ranked 10th. Fantasy owners in leagues that count toughness surely treasured that production even though it was accompanied by only 14 points, more than half of which were accumulated over a red-hot 10-game span in March. As he enters his age-26 season, though, there’s reason to believe he might be in for an improvement in offensive output. The bruising Czech blueliner took a career-high 150 shots on goal last season, and if he keeps firing on goal so readily, he should be able to eclipse the 22 points he managed three seasons ago.
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.