Harping on the defense of the Philadelphia Flyers seems to be the cool things to do these days. How many times over the last two seasons have you heard the Flyers have not had a homegrown defenseman?
Sure, there is Marc-Andre Bourdon but his concussion status is reaching the worrisome level of Chris Pronger, Keith Primeau and Eric Lindros. Samuel Morin is still raw playing in juniors. Robert Hagg signed an entry-level contract but is still widely considered an unknown for the organization.
But there is one player who is becoming a top prospect for the Flyers and could be closer to donning the orange and black than not. Union College defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has emerged one of the top players in all of college hockey and worked himself into the Hobey Baker Award talk but was not selected as one of three finalists.
Gostisbehere, who turns 21 later this month, score eight goals and added 21 assists for 29 points in 40 games this season for the Dutchmen. He was an integral part of the team that is slated to play in the Frozen Four next week at the Wells Fargo Center.
Known mostly for his offensive prowess, Gostisbehere has developed a solid defensive game that has been on display all year. The 5’11”, 170 lbs. Florida-native grabbed national attention for his incredible save over the weekend.
With Union College holding onto a 1-0 lead over Providence College in the first period of the regional final on last Sunday, Gostisbehere put the team on his back. The Friars ripped a shot that was stopped by Union goaltender Colin Stevens but, in making the save, Stevens found himself out of position and out of the net.
Gostisbehere, aware of the situation, made his way back to the net to swat the puck out of air with his hand. He then slide the puck out of the crease with his hand but without closing his hand on the puck, thus, avoiding the penalty. Gostisbehere wasn’t done as he slid against the post and stopped two shots with his leg for a total of four saves keeping the Friars off the board.
Union College went on to win the game 3-1 to earn a berth in the Frozen Four slated to kick off on April 10th in Philadelphia.