The future of the Flyers arrived over the weekend.
Well, at least a piece of it did.
General Manager Ron Hextall recalled defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday to replace Mark Streit, who will miss 4-6 weeks with a pubic plate detachment. Gostisbehere, appropriately nicknamed “Ghost,” is one of the many prized young defensive prospects in the organization.
The 22-year-old, who impressed the coaching staff and front office in training camp, has already made a huge impact in just his first two games with the Flyers.
He showed off his offensive potential by assisting on the game-tying goal late in the third period with a flashy move during the 3-2 overtime win against the Hurricanes in his season debut on Saturday. For an encore, Gostisbehere scored his first NHL goal on the power play in the first period in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Kings.
“The coaches told me it’s my time to do what I do,” Gostisbehere told reporters in Carolina. “ … I am just trying to make plays and not get caught out of position too much.”
Gostisbehere adds an element the Flyers have sorely lacked, or quite frankly, don’t currently have on their blueline. He’s a speedy defenseman who can carry the puck out of his own zone, make a long outlet pass to start a rush, possesses a quick trigger and is an extra weapon on offense. He was even used on the first unit of the power play.
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“You can tell his confidence is building, and he’s playing some good hockey for us right now,” forward Brayden Schenn said Tuesday night. “He shoots a lot of pucks and gets a lot of pucks through. He’s got good hands, and he’s fun to be out there with.”
He had his first cup of coffee last season when he played in two games with the Flyers. Shortly after returning to the Phantoms, though, he sustained a torn ACL injury that cost him the rest of the season.
Following his excellent training camp in the fall, Gostisbehere had two goals, both on the power play, and eight assists in 14 games with the Phantoms.
“Now the opportunity is here (with the Flyers),” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “You take and seize that opportunity.”
With Streit gone until at least Christmas, this is Gostisbehere’s extended chance to claim a permanent roster spot in Philadelphia.
He is no doubt off to a solid start.
“I don’t know how long I will be here,” Gostisbehere said. “I am just going out there and playing. I am going to do my best out there to help the team.”