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Flyers Sign Free-Agent Defenseman from Minn.

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The Philadelphia Flyers signed Will Zmolek, a free-agent defenseman and Minnesota native, to a one-year, entry-level deal Tuesday, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced.

The contract starts in 2023-24.

Zmolek, 23, played the last four years at Bemidji (Minn.) State, the college that produced former Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read.

The 6-foot-4, 209-pound Zmolek will report to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the rest of this season.

Zmolek, who turns 24 next month, had 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in 36 games at Bemidji this season. He led the Beavers with 64 blocked shots.

A lefthanded shooter, Zmolek was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate player.

Zmolek’s father, Doug, was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in the first round (No. 7 overall) in 1989. Doug Zmolek, a defenseman, played eight seasons in the NHL with San Jose, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. He had 64 points (11 goals, 53 assists) and 905 penalty minutes in 467 NHL games.

Breakaways

The Flyers play in Tampa on Tuesday night, starting a three-game road trip that will also take them to Carolina and Pittsburgh. … In his collegiate career, Zmolek had 46 points (9-37) in 126 games. … Prior to attending college, Zmolek played for Cedar Rapids in the USHL.

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