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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

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 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 54 16 30 -8 46
J. Voracek 54 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 54 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 52 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 36 10 20 4 30
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 54 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 52 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 3 .932 2.13
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