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Best Draft Years in Flyers History

Flyers columnist Jay Greenberg looks at the most successful Flyers draft classes

Friday, 06.27.2014 / 8:26 AM ET / News
By Jay Greenberg  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Best Draft Years in Flyers History
Flyers columnist Jay Greenberg looks at the most successful Flyers draft classes

Bobby Clarke at pick No. 17 in 1969, in the NHL’s first universal amateur draft, was the Flyers’ all-time jackpot.

Twice they have plucked their best player for a generation at No. 22 in taking Simon Gagne in 1998 and Claude Giroux in 2006.

Brian Propp at No. 14 in 1979 worked out for 369 Flyers goals and three trips to the finals. Mike Richards at No. 24 keyed the Flyers to a final. And then there were the longshots – Paul Holmgren at 108, Ron Hextall at 119, Rick Tocchet at 125, Pete Peeters at 135 and Gordie Murphy at 189 -- that paid big.

The Flyers have made their share of smart and fortunate picks in the draft. And every once in a while, they have made many in the same year.

These are the best Flyer drafts in their history:

Since Montreal had picks numbers four, six and eight, Bill Barber hoped to go fifth to Buffalo or seventh to Philadelphia, building franchises that needed more immediate help.

He got his wish at No. 7, and the Flyers received the best left wing of his time, fortunate picking considering that of the first six choices in what was considered to be a loaded draft, only Steve Shutt joined Barber in the Hall of Fame.

In the second round, at No. 23, the Flyers picked Tom Bladon, a regular defenseman on both Cup teams; at No. 39 they chose Jimmy Watson, who was a five-time All Star; and at No. 55 they took Alan MacAdam, who scored 240 NHL goals after being traded for Reggie Leach.

“No idea why I lasted that long,” says Watson, who had a Western Canada League defenseman of the year trophy to recommend him, along with a big brother already playing for the Flyers. Bladon was another Westerner, in the territory of Jerry Melnyk, the scout who had been so insistent the Flyers not be intimidated by Bobby Clarke’s diabetes. MacAdam was one of the first players taken out of the Maritimes, reflective of some thinking ahead of its time.

There may never have been another team that went four-for-the-first four like this.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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