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Get to Know a Flyer: Shayne Gostisbehere

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Flyers, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Flyers and how they might impact the series.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Shayne Gostisbehere

#53 / Defenseman / Philadelphia Flyers

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 180 | Born: April 20, 1993

Birthplace: Pembroke Pines, Florida | Drafted 78th, 2012 (Philadelphia)

Assets Owns outstanding skating ability, plus solid puck-moving skills and excellent offensive acumen. Can quarterback the power play and has some clutch ability in big games.
Flaws Doesn't own ideal size for the National Hockey League, so he must add more bulk and prove capable of effectively defending against much bigger forwards at the highest level.
Career Potential Talented, mobile offensive defenseman with some upside. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career 25-Game Rolling Five-on-Five Corsi-For Percentage:

Gostisbehere 25 Rolling CF

2015-16 Even-Strength Usage Chart

Philly Usage Chart

Why you should know who he is: Within the first month of the NHL season, only St. Louis Blues rookie defenseman Colton Parayko was really given any sort of Calder Trophy considerations.

Insert Shayne Gostisbehere, affectionately called Ghost Bear, or, for the particularly lazy, . The 22-year-old rookie took the NHL by storm, smacking in 17 goals and 29 assists in just 64 games this season. He also tallied a point in 15-straight games, the longest such streak by any NHL defenseman in 20 years, when Chris Chelios recorded a point in 15-straight of his own. Gostisbehere's streak was the third-largest ever by a rookie, behind only Teemu Selanne's 17-game mark and Paul Stastny's record of 20-straight, who both happen to be pretty solid forwards.

You should know Gostisbehere because he's the future offensive-defenseman for the NHL to gush over. He has a keen ability to move the puck, and he's been given the responsibility to quarterback the Flyers' power play. He's not afraid to jump up deep in the offensive zone, join a rush or unleash a mega one-timer. Gostisbehere is the real deal, and the Caps need to keep an eye on him.

How the Caps can stop him: Of Gostisbehere's 17 goals this year, 10 came on the power play or in overtime. In viewing all eight of his power play goals, one thing quickly becomes apparent: Claude Giroux sets him up for a one-timer. In fact, Giroux set Gostisbehere up for a one-timer goal on the power play six times this season. Most of the time, Gostisbehere moves the puck over to Giroux along the half-board, and, depending on where Gostisbehere can find space, he'll either slide a bit towards the slot or drop back towards the point. Giroux finds him across ice for a backdoor pass, or he'll simply tee it up for him on a quick point blast (any of this sound a bit familiar?).

On the off chance the Flyers get a 4-on-3 power play this series, the Flyers have a set play that they used in late-November. Gostisbehere will set himself up on the left point, and he'll gather the puck and move towards Giroux. He'll feed it down low to Giroux, and he'll begin to cut down towards the slot, back off like he's returning to the point, only to slide around the forward back into the slot.

Two games later, Gostisbehere did the exact same thing on a 4-on-3 power play opportunity.

At even strength, Gostisbehere isn't afraid to cheat in if there's space in front of the net. He's primarily lined up on his off-hand defensively, and that allows him to unleash that wicked one-timer.

More recently, Gostisbehere has done this thing where he just kind of randomly throws a wrist shot on net. In two of his last three goals, Gostisbehere has danced around with the puck, and while it may look like he's looking to make a pass, he'll just fling the puck on net without even a moments notice.

Gostisbehere has a ton of weapons in his arsenal, and that makes him an incredibly difficult player to defend. The Capitals may not be able to keep him from shooting the puck, but if they recognize some of his offensive tendencies, they can at least slow him down.

But what about Gostisbehere defensively? Well, turns out his strength isn't exactly defense. The rookie gives up 11.52 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes of 5-v-5 play. That's the 21st-most of any playoff-bound defenseman. His defensive partner? It's normally been Brandon Manning or Andrew MacDonald. Manning allows the 17th-most in the respective category. MacDonald has only played in 28 games this year, but he's still managed to give up 10.88 per 60 minutes at 5-v-5. Take the puck and drive it right towards Gostisbehere.

Previously: Steve MasonBrayden SchennJakub VoracekNick Schultz