Published: February 14, 2016
Shayne Gostisbehere, The Philadelphia Flyers have had a difficult time developing defensemen over the years.
They always seem to produce a number of high quality forwards (Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux were all drafted by the team, while they also traded for guys like Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds) but young, top-pairing defenders haven’t really come through the system in quite some time.
That is changing with the development of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
He is in the middle of a fantastic rookie season for the Flyers, and on Saturday afternoon he broke an NHL rookie record when he scored a game-tying goal in the third period of their 2-1 loss overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.
An 11-game point streak is the longest by a rookie defenseman in NHL history.
Shayne Gostisbehere has it.https://t.co/l5EBXISuuz
— NHL (@NHL) February 13, 2016
That goal extended his current point streak to 11 consecutive games, setting a new record for rookie defensemen.
Before Gostisbehere’s current run, the longest such streak belonged to Barry Beck, a member of the Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 season.
Gostisbehere’s Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) chances still seem slim at this point, not only because it’s such a deep class with Artemi Panarin, Dylan Larkin, Jack Eichel, Max Domi and, yes, Connor McDavid still at the top of the class, but also because it’s an award that has been historically difficult for defenders to win. Including Aaron Ekblad, who won it a year ago for the Florida Panthers, only 11 defensemen have won the NHL’s rookie of the year award in NHL history and ony four have done so since 1989 (Ekblad, Tyler Myers, Barret Jackman and Bryan Berard).
Since joining the Flyers’ lineup on Nov. 14 Gostisbehere has recorded 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) and is one of the team’s leading scorers even though he has only played in 36 games.
He is fifth in the NHL rookie scoring race (trailing Panarin, Larkin, Eichel and Domi) and leads all rookie defensemen. St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko is second among rookie defensemen in scoring with 22 points. Parayko has played in 18 more games than Gostisbehere.
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