Flyers defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere has seen more hockey success in Philadelphia than any other player at Flyers development camp.
Gostisbehere reached the pinnacle of college hockey on April 12 at the Wells Fargo Center, earning most outstanding player honors at the Frozen Four after leading Union College to a national championship.
Gostisbehere called it the best month of his life.
Now the 21-year-old is trying to get back to Philadelphia as a Flyer. The team's third-round pick in 2012, Gostisbehere decided to forgo his senior season of eligibility at Union in the days following the national title. He played two games with the Phantoms at the end of the season, giving him a taste of professional hockey.
Because of Gostisbehere's success at the collegiate level, a steady stream of younger Flyers prospects have sought his advice at development camp before they depart for college at the end of the summer, hoping to emulate his success.
Defenseman Terrance Amorosa, a Flyers' fifth-round pick in 2012, will be heading to Clarkson University in New York this fall. He has sought Gostisbehere's advice about playing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, of which Union and Clarkson are both members, particularly as an undersized defenseman.
"It just gives me an image of what the next level is like," Amorosa said. "He's already been there, he's already had experience at the college level, he's done very well there, so he obviously knows what he's talking about. It's just great to get that information."
Gostisbehere's influence isn't limited to defensemen. Goaltender Merrick Madsen, a sixth-round pick in 2013, approached Gostisbehere and defenseman Nick Luukko, who plays for Vermont, for some tips about college life before he starts his freshman year at Harvard.
"Just seeing those guys and what they've accomplished is really inspiring me," Madsen said.
When he isn't giving younger players advice, Gostisbehere has plenty of work to do himself. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has said that he is inclined to place young talent in the American Hockey League, meaning all of the team's rising defensemen will have an uphill battle to start the season with the Flyers.
This is Gostisbehere's third development camp with the organization, but this year's training camp will be his first. He will have to make an impact there.
If he able to overcome the odds and make the Flyers roster, other prospects will have even more reason to look up to him.