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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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