On July 1, 2010, at the start of free agency, the Flyers acquired defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a second-round pick. In my opinion, this acquisition was one of the best moves the Flyers made this offseason.
Meszaros is a very skilled defenseman and will pay dividends for the Flyers, especially since he is placed on the fourth line. In my last article, a loyal reader (Aaron Miller), asked why I did not include Meszaros in my 2010-2011 season preview.
The reason for excluding him was because I feel he should get his own article. In a league where defensemen are not highly publicized, Meszaros is not very well known. He is an under-rated player who is undoubtedly a sleeper in the NHL.
In 2002, when he was just seventeen years old, Meszaros started his professional career with Dukla Trencin of the Slovak Extraliga. After playing two seasons with Dukla Trencin, Meszaros was drafted twenty-third overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. That following season, Meszaros started playing for the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
In 2005, Meszaros moved up to the Ottawa Senators and officially started his NHL career. He had an outstanding rookie season and finished with ten goals, twenty-nine assists, and thirty-nine points.
In addition, he finished third in the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-34 (1st among rookies). In Ottawa, Meszaros played in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, but the Sens lost to the Anaheim Ducks. He was paired with Zdeno Chara, who is presently one of the best defensemen in the NHL.
Don't get me wrong, Meszaros won't become an all-star here since he will be shadowed by the likes of Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. He was somewhat of a disappointment in Tampa Bay since he was proclaimed to be a master of defense and by writing this article, I am not in anyway proclaiming Meszaros a godsend.
However, he is a player that we should all be on the lookout for as he brings toughness and intelligence to the blue line here in Philly. With that, let us all sit back and watch how he does.
Should be a very interesting season.