By: Matt Rothman
Who says hockey is not popular in Florida?
Not only are the back-to-back Stanley Champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning from Florida, but Marjory Stoneman Douglas may have produced one of the most talented defensemen in the NHL.
Shayne Gostisbehere, who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas, had the opportunity to visit with the 2018 State Champion hockey team nearly three weeks after the school shooting before playing a game against the Florida Panthers.
He became the first-born and raised player from South Florida to make it pro playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. So far, he’s played 381 games in the NHL, scored 60 goals, and recorded 219 points.
For the first time, Gostisbehere will not be wearing the orange and black after being traded to the Arizona Coyotes during the offseason.
The left-handed defenseman had his best year come during the 2015-16 season when he scored 17 goals in his first full stint in the NHL. He was named to the All-Rookie Team.
Gostisbehere’s journey to the NHL began with the minor league affiliate of the Florida Panthers before transferring to South Kent School in Connecticut for his final two years of high school.
The 28-year old attended Union College, helping his team win its first National Championship. Gostisbehere was crowned the Most Outstanding Player and was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which is the equivalent to the Heisman Trophy in college football.
In 2014, the Flyers selected Gostisbehere with the 74th pick in the third round, seeing him as one of their top defensemen before he was traded.
He’ll play his first game with the Coyotes on Thursday, October 7, trying to help a young team breakthrough and make the playoffs in the Western Conference. This season, his only trip to South Florida is on October 25, when the Coyotes visit the BB&T Center.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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