Apr 12, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Union Dutchmen defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (14) holds the NCAA Championship Trophy after defeating the Minnesota Gophers in the championship game of the Frozen Four college ice hockey tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Union defeated Minnesota, 7-4 to win the NCAA Championship. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Shayne Gostisbehere: Philadelphia Flyers Daily Poll

Aside from Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere is the most talked about defenseman in the Flyers prospect system. Fans, however, may be a little too optimistic when it comes to Gostisbehere’s future in the NHL.

Gostisbehere, a.k.a “Ghost,” is an exciting player to watch. His skating is smooth. His passes are hard and crisp. His shot is something to marvel at when he unloads the puck.

Shayne Gostisbehere almost matches his offensive flair with defensive prowess. Gostisbehere showed great defensive awareness during the Frozen Four. His stick-checking was effective and he never rushed a play when pressured.

Coming into this year’s prospect camp, Gostisbehere weighed 170 pounds. He does need to build up is strength so he does not get pushed around by the bigger and stronger players in the NHL. He may be able to add a few more pounds to his frame before it begins to affect his skating.

Gostisbehere has taken great strides in his development. His coaches at Union College took a raw, but talented offensive-defenseman and turned him into a two-way threat. When Gostisbehere arrived at Union, he would often rush the puck whenever he would get the chance. Now, Gostisbehere picks and chooses when he can jump start the offense.

Friday night, Randy Miller of NJ.com wrote a piece on Gostisbehere. He went in-depth on Gostisbehere’s early life and his ascension to college-hockey phenom. Terry Murray, head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, compared Gostisbehere’s style of play to Paul Coffey and Al Iafrate.

“[They] were offensive players who played on the edge all the time. They were up on the attack in the offensive zone and they had incredible speed to be able to track back literally like a forward to defend and pressure the puck carrier.”

During the Frozen Four, Shayne Gostisbehere exhibited all of those skills. The more pressing question now is if he can bring those skills to the AHL and NHL. The game is faster. The players are stronger. The mistakes cost even more.

Gostisbehere was able to play two games with the Phantoms last season. A few reporters said he looked decent but that a learning curve would be ahead of him. How steep that curve is will be determined by Gostisbehere himself. So tell us, how far away are we from watching Shayne Gostisbehere in the NHL?

How far away is Shayne Gostisbehere from the NHL?

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