Life's unpredictability sometimes can force one to mature at an unexpected, accelerated rate.
And that very well might have been the case with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, the Union College graduate, this season.
On the ice, things pretty much went according to plan, with "Ghost" finishing fourth in scoring among NHL defensemen (13-52-65, plus-10) and winning the Flyers’ Barry Ashbee Trophy (best backliner) for the second time in three years.
But it was off the ice where Gostisbehere came to grips with perhaps the most significant steps into true adulthood.
The first happened in mid-February when the 25-year-old native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was shocked to learn that a shooter at his alma mater Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., had left more than two dozen people dead.