Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut tonight when the Flyers play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
Gostisbehere, 21, was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday.
“(Terry) Murray took me aside and told me I might possibly be called up and he had to take me out of the lineup,” Gostisbehere told CSNPhilly.com. “I just waited for the call and got it and headed over.”
Injuries to veteran defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald presented the opportunity for Gostisbehere to be recalled.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Gostisbehere said Saturday. “A little bit [surprising] but injuries happen around the league. When your number is called, you jump up and do the best you can.”
Originally a third-round pick of the Flyers (78th overall in 2012), Gostisbehere was paired with Luke Schenn during the team’s morning skate. He also took shifts alongside Michael Del Zotto on the Flyers’ second power play unit.
“His skill, his skating,” said coach Craig Berube of what impresses him when watching Gostisbehere. “His skating for sure. I think his anticipation. He anticipates the game well, and I think that’s important up here. For a guy like him, his size and stuff … I thought he checked well with his stick.”
According to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Gostisbehere’s recall could be a short-term solution.
Seravalli reports that Flyers GM Ron Hextall was working the phones Friday looking to acquire a defenseman prior to the Gostisbehere recall.
“I can tell you I’m hoping to get a defenseman for a hell of a lot less than $2 million,” Hextall said, noting the team’s cap situation.
One name, which has been rumoured to be Philly-bound is Ryan Whitney, who recently signed in the KHL.
“Ryan is signed with a KHL team as of now,” said Paul Krepelka, the agent for Whitney. “I don’t want to comment any further than that – I’ll leave that up to Ronnie .”
Gostisbehere had two assists in three games in the AHL prior to his call-up.