May 31, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT
The Philadelphia Flyers got their man.
On Friday, the club announced it had reached an agreement with Michael Raffl, an Austrian forward they were pursing along with a number of other NHL teams.
“Both [Director of Player Personnel] Dave Brown and myself as well as [European Scout] Ilkka [Sinisalo] saw him at the World Championships and he’s a good player,” said Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor. “You noticed him over there. He’s got skill. He thinks the game.
“He’s a versatile guy and can do a lot of different things.”
Raffl, 24, led Swedish second division outfit Leksands with 24 goals and 46 points this season (of note, Leksands was the same team ’12 first-round pick Filip Forsberg played for this season).
It’s believed interest in Raffl really piqued at the 2013 World Hockey Championships, where Raffl represented Team Austria. He raised some eyebrows late in the tourney by playing on a line with Buffalo standout Tomas Vanek and scoring two points in an 8-4 loss to Russia.
“He’s a good player, who we think can be NHL ready,” Pryor said. “There’s going to be a learning curve, but he’s got enough in his game to be able to make that adjustment rather quickly.”
The Nashville Predators were believed to be the other team in hot pursuit of Raffl. According to CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, the Flyers will have to buy out the final year of Raffl’s contact with Leksands.
Also on Friday, the Flyers announced they reached an agreement with QMJHL Baie-Comeau defenseman Maxim Lamarche.
Lamarche, 20, went undrafted but had 43 points in 53 games this year, helping Baie-Comeau advance to the Quebec league finals.
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