Though it went under the radar earlier this month, the Philadelphia Flyers have one less restricted free agent to sign this offseason. Maksim Sushko, a young forward coming off his entry-level contract, has signed with Dynamo Moscow in the KHL.
Sushko, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the Flyers in 2017 and made his NHL debut in the 2020-21 season, playing two games with the big club. After spending all of 2021-22 in the minor leagues, it appears as though he’ll pursue a career overseas instead. Though Sushko spent half a season in the KHL while COVID restrictions were keeping the AHL dark, it isn’t like he is unfamiliar with North American hockey.
The Belarusian forward came over to play in the OHL in 2016 and spent three years with the Owen Sound Attack before jumping directly to the AHL. In fact, this will be the first Russian team he plays for, making this a new experience altogether.
Signed to a two-year deal, he’ll still be young enough to return in 2024 if the Flyers choose to issue him a qualifying offer this summer. That will allow them to retain his exclusive rights as a restricted free agent and potentially allow them to bring him back after receiving playing time in the KHL.