Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere signed a multiyear contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, general manager Ron Hextall announced Friday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but TSN reported it is for six years worth $27 million, an average annual value of $4.5 million.
Gostisbehere, 24, could have become a restricted free agent July 1.
"It's a dream come true to be part of one of the best organizations in hockey," Gostisbehere told the Flyers website. "With everything that's going on here -- we've got some young guys coming up and we've already got some key pieces -- it's nice to know you're part of the future and part of the plans. There's many more steps to come and hopefully it leads to some great things. It's a tremendous honor to realize you're part of the future."
Gostisbehere had 39 points (seven goals, 32 assists) and was minus-21 in 76 games this season. He scored 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games in 2015-16, finishing second in voting for the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year behind forward Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol healthy scratched Gostisbehere frequently in his second full NHL season. Hextall supported Hakstol's decision and doesn't believe it affected the young defenseman negatively.
"Shayne, and I'll throw [Flyers forward Travis Konecny] in there as well, there's lessons to learn when you're a young player," Hextall said. "Sometimes at the time you don't understand them, but I assure you that this year, next year, the year after Shayne will look back at those experiences and go 'I learned a lot from that.'
"A lot comes at a young player, a lot of young players are handed unlimited ice time, unlimited roles because all the way up they're the best player on their team and there's lessons that a lot of them have to go through as pros and Ghost went through some of those last year and he's clearly going to be a better player because of it."
The Flyers selected Gostisbehere in the third round (No. 78) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Gostisbehere will be protected by the Flyers in the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft (June 17-21) which will provide the Vegas Golden Knights with their roster. Their selections will be announced at the NHL Awards on June 21 (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).
The 30 other NHL teams must submit their list of protected players by 5 p.m. ET June 17. Vegas will be given the lists at 10 a.m. on June 18 and will have until 10 a.m. on June 21 to submit its selections.
Teams must protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender; or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender.
Vegas can sign any restricted or unrestricted free agent left unprotected by his team from June 18-21. These free agents would not otherwise be allowed to sign with a team different than the one they played for this season until July 1.