Ghost was dynamic and dominant in the championship effort, taking home Most Outstanding Player honors after pleasing the “home” crowd. Now, Gostisbehere will try his best to recruit a former teammate and another impressive collegiate player following in his footsteps.
Forward Mike Vecchione is in his final season at Union, battling through the ECAC playoffs in hopes of reaching the Frozen Four like so many college players before him. He has 62 points this season (29 goals, 33 assists) to add to his school record 171 career points and Hobey Baker Memorial Award hopes.
Particularly after last summer’s Jimmy Vesey watch, albeit that was a much more dramatic scenario, you have to assume a lot of eyes will be on Vecchione when he becomes an eligible free agent when Union’s season comes to a close. Can Ghost help the Flyers land the college star?
“I’m pretty sure he was close to coming here last year,” said Gostisbehere via philly.com. “I can be the best salesman I can, but it’s ultimately up to him. I’m going to tell him how it is here, obviously, but it’s going to be up to him and what’s the best fit for him.”
Naturally, Gostisbehere knows that the dream of achieving college glory is the only thing Vecchione should be focused on for the time being.
“I’m sure we’ll talk more as time goes on, but I don’t really want to bother his focus right now,” Gostisbehere said. “He’s got some big things on his plate that he’s got to finish up.”
The two players were teammates during Vecchione’s freshman year (34 points in 38 games) and Gostisbehere gave a glowing review of the now 24-year-old.
“He’s a great two-way player. Very fast. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got a ton of heart. I mean, he’ll do anything for the team,” Gostisbehere said. “He can play any role possible. He can be a first-line guy and he can be a fourth-line guy, too. He’s really good in the faceoff dot. He’s just a great player and a better person, too.”
Vecchione is second in the NCAA in points (62) and goals (29), and first in game-winning goals (7) shorthanded goals (4). It’s safe to say that there will be a line of teams anxious to court Vecchione in hopes of landing the soon-to-be free agent.
Gostisbehere offered up his best praises for Vecchione in regard to the Hobey Baker, the award given to the best player in college hockey. Johnny Gaudreau (2014), Jack Eichel (2015) and Vesey (2016) were the last three winners of the award, a good indication of the firepower and fanfare that can come along with those impressive enough to take it home.
“If you look up the definition of Hobey Baker, I think Vecs fits that mold perfectly. He’s stayed all four years, and he’s been a great role model,” Gostisbehere said. “He’s been a captain, and he’s a very humble kid.”
If he’s anything like Shayne, I’m sure the Flyers would be more than happy to add him to a squad in definite need of some depth up front. For now, we wish the Union squad luck as they take on Cornell in the ECAC Semifinals on Friday night in Lake Placid, NY.
[Quotes via Sam Carchidi/Philly.com]
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