24-Year-Old Defenseman – Philadelphia Flyers
Shayne Gostisbehere Contract Information:
Signed a six-year contract with the Flyers worth $4.5 million annually in June of 2017.
Gostisbehere (illness) was back at practice Monday, Bill Meltzer of NHL.com reports.
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Shayne Gostisbehere: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Precious few defensemen have burst onto the scene with the sort of offensive spectacle that Gostisbehere brought with him upon being recalled from the AHL last November. He produced immediately, racking up 16 points in his first 22 games despite averaging less than 19 minutes of ice time. But that was just the appetizer Ė Ghost Bearís main course was a record-setting point streak of 15 games, the longest ever by a rookie blueliner. No other NHL defenseman, Erik Karlsson included, has put together a streak like that in the last two decades. Gostisbehere ended up with 17 goals (sixth among blueliners), 46 points (17th) and 22 power-play points (tied for 13th) despite playing just 64 games. And that wasnít even with first-unit minutes. As the 23-year-old enters his second NHL campaign, itís scary to think just how good he could become. However, itís worth noting his injury history Ė he had an ACL tear two years ago and underwent offseason surgery in May on his hip and abdomen, though that isnít expected to affect his availability for the start of the season.
Gostisbehere got a taste of NHL action in 2014-15 when the Flyers called him up from AHL Lehigh Valley for two games in October, but shortly after returning to the minors, he suffered an ACL tear that would keep him sidelined for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old, who recorded five assists in five games with the AHL club before the injury, is expected to be back at 100 percent health by the time training camp opens in the fall. A strong camp might be enough for Gostisbehere to make the Flyers' Opening Night roster, but itís far more likely that he heads back to Lehigh Valley in order to gain more seasoning. Once the 22-year-old shakes off the rust in the minors, he'll likely earn quick consideration for a return to the Flyers, as his tremendous skating ability and superior offensive instincts would certainly be welcome on the back end. The puck-moving blueliner sees the ice remarkably well and projects as a key fantasy player a few years down the road.
Following his graduation from Union College, Gostisbehere joined AHL Adirondack for the last two games of their season, registering a minus-2 with no points. It's expected that he'll start the upcoming season in the AHL and look to put together a solid rookie campaign in his first full year as a pro. He had a very successful NCAA career -- he ended it by taking home the ECAC Player of the Year and Best Defensive Defenseman awards -- and will look to show that he can translate his collegiate experience into success at the much more difficult minor-league level. Keeper owners should remember his name even if they can't spell it -- he has top-four stalwart and power-play QB written all over him.