PITTSBURGH -- Shayne Gostisbehere was watching the NHL draft Saturday afternoon on television from his living room in Ft. Lauderdale.
There was a slim chance Id be going a little earlier than expected, said the teenage defenseman from Union College, who the Flyers drafted Saturday in the third round.
When I saw my name I jumped off the couch. Literally, I jumped off the couch. My family didnt feel like making the trip to Pittsburgh. We stayed home.
Gostisbehere, a 19-year-old puck-moving defenseman, will be a sophomore next season. Teammate Greg Coburn younger brother of the Flyers Braydon will be a junior next year at Union.
Nice connection. The Flyers took Gostisbehere, who was born in Margate, Florida, with their 78th pick.
Gostisbehere had five goals, 22 points in 41 games this season and was one of four defensemen among the Flyers seven total picks in the draft.
The kid came on the radar at mid-season and started to play better, our guys in the East happen to see him a lot, said Chris Pryor, the Flyers director of hockey operations, who oversees the draft.
He has a good head, good stick, and can make plays. Hes only a freshman and hes in a good situation.
His own self-evaluation? While he admits hes a skating defenseman, he said three times, Im not a slouch on defense.
Union College lost 3-1 to Ferris State in the Frozen Four semi-final round this past April. Still, that was great experience for Gostisbehere.
You wanted to win it all but going to the Frozen Four and winning your league it was an amazing season, Gostisbehere said.
I couldnt ask for a better season with my teammates. It helped me gain more experience as a true freshman in college hockey and learn the game more.
And while he lives in the middle of Panther country, Gostibehere is a huge Flyers fan.
Its a team with so much history, so much going for it, he said. I couldnt be more proud to put on the orange and black. I talked to them a little before the draft.
I felt comfortable with them and others, too. Im just glad it worked out. Couldnt be a better team to pick. Just amazing.
General manager Paul Holmgren wanted to replenish his organizational depth on defense, but not at the expense of overlooking best available athletes at forward. Nonetheless, the Flyers still came away with four blue liners.
Were happy with our draft, Holmgren said. We stocked our cupboard a little bit. We got a big goalie Anthony Stolarz we really like and he is going to college. He may stay four years. You never know what happens. We got the centerman Scott Laughton we like in the first round.
The Flyers had not taken a goalie in the draft since 2009 when they plucked two of them. But with the second round pick they obtained from Columbus on Friday as part of the Sergei Bobrovsky trade, the Flyers did just that.
Stolarz, 18, became the first player from North Jersey (Jackson) to be taken in this draft at 45th. He grew up admiring Devils goalie Marty Brodeur fan and appears to still be growing at 6-feet-5. Stolarz is headed to Nebraska-Omaha.
Stolarz was ranked fourth by NHL Central Scouting.
Hes got a 6-10 wingspan, Pryor gushed. Very athletic. Thats the trend big, athletic goalies and he is one of them. He is in a good situation in Nebraska, a good place to develop.
In the fourth round, the Flyers had two picks. They selected 18-year-old, physical Swedish defenseman Fredrik Larsson, who played for Brynas Jr. last season at 111th.
He had 135 penalty minutes and was plus-33 in 35 junior under-18 games.
With their 117th pick, they chose left wing Taylor Leier, an 18-year-old from Saskatoon, SK. He played at Portland in the WHL.
You often hear Holmgren say hed like a few right-handed shots on defense. Well, he gfot one in the 5th round with 6-3, 184-pound defenseman Reece Wilcox, from Surrey, B.C., who has committed to Cornell for next season.
With their final pick in the seventh round at 201, the Flyers took 6-1, 203-pound Russian defenseman Valeri Vasiliev.
The way things played out, many of the picks the Flyers identified fell to them in later rounds.
We had a lot of guys identified at certain areas, Pryor said. As it turned out, a lot of those guys were there when we picked. Were happy. We upgraded our size, too.
Holmgren said some of their picks they felt would go higher in the draft.
We didnt believe we have a shot to get those guys, but we added some guys targeted in certain rounds and it fell the right way, he said.
Holmgren confirmed a report by RDS that he has spoken with former LA Kings coach Terry Murray about a job coaching the Phantoms.
We have spoken about the Phantoms but nothing is in place, Holmgren texted CSNPhilly.com.
Murray is still under contract to the Kings but general manager Dean Lombardi has allowed him to seek another job.
If hired, this would a fifth time Murray has worked in the Flyers organization.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com