Erik Gustafsson is leaving the National Hockey League for Siberia.
Set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, the Philadelphia Flyers defenceman has signed a contract with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, according to multiple reports.
Gustafsson, a 25-year-old from Sweden, was never drafted into the NHL. He signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Flyers in March of 2010 after standing out on the Northern Michigan Wildcats’ blue line. This season he was on a one-year deal that paid him $1 million.
He made his NHL debut for Philadelphia in February 2011, when he replaced an injured Chris Pronger, and won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2013 world championships.
In 91 NHL games, Gustafsson scored six goals, notched 17 assists and took 14 minutes in penalties. He played two games and scored one goal for the Flyers in their opening-round loss to the New York Rangers this post-season.
Avangard, the home of Jaromir Jagr during his three-year KHL hiatus, reached the Gagarin Cup final as recently as 2012.