Flyers Notes: Flyers' draft pick one of nation's best

Posted: March 22, 2014

The Flyers may have made a steal when they selected Shayne Gostisbehere in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Gostisbehere, a small but speedy junior defenseman at powerful Union College, was named one of the 10 finalists Thursday for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's top collegiate player. He was the only defenseman in the top 10.

Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau, who attended Gloucester Catholic High and was chosen by Calgary in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, is favored to win the award. The diminutive winger leads the nation in goals (32) and points (69).

The winner will be announced April 11 at the Frozen Four, which will be played at the Wells Fargo Center.  The three finalists, known as the Hobey Baker Hat Trick, will be announced April 2 and will make the trip to Philadelphia.

Gostisbehere, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder, may be at the Wells Fargo Center anyway because his team could reach the Frozen Four. Union is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Among collegiate defensemen, Gostisbehere ranks 10th nationally in scoring (0.78 points per game), and he shares the team lead with a plus-22 rating.

Gostisbehere, a Florida native who will turn 21 next month, has 28 points and has set a school record for shots in a season by a defenseman with 141.

Flyers coach Craig Berube said that he hasn't seen much of Gostisbehere, but that he's "definitely very good with the puck and he gets up ice. He's one of those type of players you notice out there. He can skate with the puck and do things with the puck. He's an exciting player."

After the season, the Flyers will talk with Gostisbehere to see if he wants to sign a contract or stay for his senior year at Union.

"We'll take a peek - as we do with all our kids at the end of the year - to figure out what's the best situation from a development standpoint," the Flyers' scouting director, Chris Pryor, said recently. "With all these kids, they have to want to do it, too. Mentally, they have to buy in and be on the same page as we are.

"First and foremost, they have to want to make that step."

Breakaways. Vinny Lecavalier entered the night needing two goals to reach 400 in his career. . . . The Flyers had their 140th straight home sellout Thursday, a streak that started Nov. 18, 2010. . . . Excluding an empty-net goal, Steve Downie had not scored in his last 30 games entering Thursday.

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