The unethical week continued for the Philadelphia Flyers when they signed winger Aaron Palushaj on Thursday.
Palushaj (Puh-Loo-Shy), comes to the Flyers after spending the 2014-2015 in the KHL, marking the second time in as many days the orange and black have come to terms with a former player from the league.
At 25 years old, the two sides agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal worth $575,000 in the NHL and $225,000 in the AHL. The deal holds very little risk for the Flyers organization and allows Palushaj to come back to North America for financial stability in regards to the declining ruble and uncertainty of several KHL franchises.
The American-born, former University of Michigan winger is regarded as “fast” and “elusive”. Since his contract is a two-way, it is expected he will begin the year in Lehigh Valley with the Phantoms (AHL). While the NHL success may not be there Palushaj does have 194 points in 258 games at the AHL level. He’s young enough that he can still help the second-year minor league program by putting up numbers but has also been around the block and traveled enough that he can teach to the younger players who will be there with him a thing or two.
For what it’s worth, Palushaj’s last full AHL season (2013-14) saw him hit a career high in points (58). That is a mark no player on the Phantoms reached last season. Jason Akeson and Nick Cousins were the only members of the squad to plateau 50. His last trip to the AHL playoffs was with the Charlotte Checkers, the Carolina Hurricanes affiliate, in 2010-2011 in which he posted 19 points in 19 games.
It should be noted that a few of the Phantoms veteran players are currently slated to become UFA’s on July 1, thus leaving a bit of a void up front. Andrew Gordon, Blair Jones, Jay Rosehill and Zach Stortini were all not only fan favorite’s but additionally a help to inexperienced guys who hope to be full-time additions to the NHL roster one day, such as Akeson, Cousins and Scott Laughton.
In the KHL last year, Palushaj’s time was split between Yekaterinburg and Zagreb, whose rosters included familiar names to Flyers fans such as Cal Heeter and Ville Leino. His resume also includes 68 NHL games as a member of the Avalanche, Canadiens, and Hurricanes between 2010 and 2014.
In the rare chance that the new winger cracks the lineup out of training camp in September, he fits right into the mold of new bench boss Dave Hakstol’s system.
Hakstol on Monday, Medvedev on Wednesday and now Palushaj on Thursday. What’s next for the Flyers?
Palushaj Quick Hits:
• Shoots : Right
• Listed as 5’11” – 187 lbs. but actually smaller
• Can Also Play LW
• Last Wore #37 in the NHL
• 2nd Round Pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2007