, , , ,

Philadelphia Flyers left wing Tyrell Goulbourne made his National Hockey League debut with a bang on Saturday. Just ask St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

Flyers forward Tyrell Goulbourne

On his very first shift, Goulbourne delivered a crushing hit on Pietrangelo that set up a goal by Flyers forward Scott Laughton.

In the words of  NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, “Welcome to the National, Tyrell Goulbourne!”

Goulbourne didn’t register a goal or an assist in his first NHL game, but he earned plaudits from his Flyers teammates and applause from fans inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center for his energizing physicality.

“I was scared before the game,” Goulbourne told reporters after the Flyer’ 6-3 win over the Blues. “My legs were shaking. It felt really good after that first shift. I just wanted to get a hit in there. ‘Laughts’ kind of teed him up nice. I just wanted to finish my check.”

Goulbourne played only 5:08 minutes of the game but still manged to dole out four eye-catching hits and blocked one shot.

That’s just what Flyers Head Coach Dave Hakstol and General Manager Ron Hextall were looking for when they decided to call up the 23-year-old rookie from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms over more skilled players on the Flyers’ American Hockey League farm team.

“Everybody’s excited for a player to go out and have success on his first shift,” Hakstol told reporters. “It empowers him and for sure it’s a shot in the arm for the entire bench. Obviously, he had a big impact on that first shift to go out and play the way he plays.”

Goulbourne has 6 goals and 4 assists in 34 games with Lehigh Valley this season. He’s  had an up-and-down career since the Flyers’ took him in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Before that, he was a star player for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. He notched 22 goals and 23 assists in 62 games in 2014-15, the season the Rockets won the WHL championship.

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.