The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Friday that they reached a six-year, 27 million-dollar, agreement with defenseman, Shayne Gostisbehere.
The 24-year-old blueliner could have become a restricted free agent on July 1, had the two sides not hammered out an extension. In 76 games during the past season, he put up seven goals and 32 assists, and was a minus-21, for the Flyers.
During his rookie season, in 2015-2016, he finished second in voting for the Calder Trophy behind Chicago Blackhawk forward, Artemi Panarin.
Gostisbehere told the Flyers website, “It is a dream come true to be a part of one of the best organizations in hockey. With everything that is going on here. We have got some young guys coming up and we already have some key pieces. It is nice to know you are part of the future and part of the plans. There are many more steps to come and hopefully it leads to some great things. It is a tremendous honor to realize you are a part of the future.”
While he was frequently scratched by Flyers head coach, Dave Hakstol, throughout his sophomore season, general manager, Ron Hextall, supported his coach’s decision and did not feel it hurt Gostisbehere’s development.
Hextall said, “Shayne and I will throw [Flyers forward] Travis Konecny, in there as well, there are lessons to learn when you are a young player. Sometimes at the time you do not understand them, but I assure you that this year, next year, the year after Shayne will look back at those experiences and go, `I learned a lot from that.’”
He continued, “A lot comes at a young player, a lot of young players are handed unlimited ice time, unlimited roles because all the way up they are the best player on their team and there are lessons that a lot of them have to go through as pros and Ghost went through some of those last year and he is clearly going to be a better player because of it.”
Gostisbehere was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, with the 78th overall selection.
Philadelphia is expected to protect Gostisbehere in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The Flyers along with the 29 other teams must submit their lists of protected players, that the Vegas Golden Knights can’t choose, by 5:00 PM on June 17.