Sunday: CapFriendly reports that Sosunov has cleared waivers.
Saturday: The Lightning have placed defenseman Oleg Sosunov on unconditional waivers, reports CapFriendly (Twitter link). This would appear to be a step towards paving the way for his release assuming he passes through unclaimed.
The 22-year-old was a sixth-round pick of Tampa Bay (178th overall) back in 2016 out of Yaroslavl in Russia. While his offensive numbers weren’t anything spectacular, his size (he stands 6’9) was deemed worthy of a late-round flyer. He transferred to Moose Jaw of the WHL in 2017 and had a good season where which helped earn him an entry-level deal.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, the improvements made there haven’t translated to the pros. After splitting his rookie season between AHL Syracuse and ECHL Orlando, Sosunov spent most of this season in Orlando, picking up just a single assist in 21 games.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Sosunov will be able to make it to the NHL and that he was probably heading for the ECHL again next season. Terminating his deal which has one year remaining will give him a chance to catch on somewhere overseas while freeing up a contract spot for the Lightning. That may not seem too important but right now, they’re at the maximum of 50 so his removal will give them a little bit of flexibility if they need to make a trade before the change to the 2020-21 calendar year in mid-October.