Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Draft by Decade: Philledelphia Flyers

The Flyers have not had a wealth of high picks as another perennial contender of the decade that was, but looking at their team this decade it's not surprising to have discovered they did the best with what they had at the draft table.

A late first rounder in 2001, Jeff Woywitka was a solid pick at 27, and the Flyers found one of todays premiere stars in Patrick Sharp at 95th that year, as well as Denis Seidenberg way back at 172.

2002 saw the Flyers make a pick out of europe, something they didn't do too much of.  Joni Pitkanen at fourth may seem like a missed opportunity, but he has more points in fewer games than the man picked directly ahead of him, Jay Buowmeester.

2003 was one of the best years at the draft table ever.  Jeff Carter was taken 11th, ahead of now team captain Mike Richards at 24.  Colin Fraser at 69 was a solid pick, he's found a home now in Edmonton after a run to the cup with Chicago last season. Stefan Ruczika at 81 is having a very succesful KHL career, Alex Picard at 85 is a top 6 on just about any team and Ryan Potulny can't get no love despite posting 32 points in 64 games last year in Edmonton.  All told, the first six picks they made (from 11 to 87) all made the NHL, and half have been to the Stanley Cup Finals.  This draft more than made up for 2004, which was an off year.

Steve Downie has turned in to an agitator and viable goal scoring threat in Tampa after Philly tookhim 29th, and Oskars Bartulis is a great late pick; he's turned in to a very reliable defender.  2006, although they forgot his name, Claude Grioux just signed his on a major RFA deal with Philly after lighting the league on fire at the start of this season. Andreas Nodly at 39th continues to improve. 2007s James VanRiemsdyk as the highest pick Philly had all decade.  They gave him time to develop in college before making his debut during last year's run to the cup final.  He is a budding power forward who will show his full potential next season after top-six scorer Ville Leino is lost to free agency.

gotta cut this one short, B+ for sure

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