Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal

Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal
April 11, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Petr Straka had 41 goals in 55 games for Baie-Comeau Drakkar, a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, in the 2012-13 regular season. (AP)

After losing out at the last minute to Detroit on defensive prospect Danny DeKeyser in late March, the Flyers plucked an interesting forward Thursday night from the Czech Republic.

They signed 6-0, 194-pound right wing Petr Straka, an overage junior (20), who is playing for Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Straka signed a three-year entry level contract worth $2.775 million ($925,000 annual average value). He was an unsigned second-round draft pick from Columbus (2010).

“Our guys liked him in his draft year a couple years ago and had him in the second- or third-round mix,” said Chris Pryor, director of hockey operations for the Flyers. “Maybe he was a little bit inconsistent if you’re looking from afar.”

The inconsistency evaporated this season. Straka scored 82 points -- 41 goals, 41 assists and was plus-33 in 55 regular-season games -- 17th best in the league. He had just 18 goals with Rimouski the previous season.

Baie-Comeau is currently in the playoffs in which Straka is third in scoring with eight goals and 18 points in eight games played.

The Flyers’ Quebec-area scouts Simon Nolet and Todd Hearty had been following Straka, who was pursued by 12 clubs, according to his agent, Allan Walsh.

“We were fortunate enough to get him aboard,” Pryor said. “There was some hype and some teams on him. He’s a good, young player.

“The last couple of years he’s been a little inconsistent but you could say that about a lot of young guys. It looks like he’s figured it out.”

Straka will be eligible to play in the AHL next season, although you can expect he will get a look in training camp next fall for the Flyers, as well.

“We’re happy,” Pryor said. “We got [defenseman] Mark Alt earlier, another former second-round kid. We’re happy to add a couple young guys to our development.”

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