By Zackery Robert

Moving on to the City of Brotherly Love we now check on the Broad Street Bullies better known as the Philadelphia Flyers. Drafting since 1967 the Philadelphia Flyers made some great choices in their time that have helped them win two Stanley Cups in the 1970s.

We will start out in the 1969 draft where Philadelphia had the 17th selection in the second round and chose Bobby Clarke. Now this selection here gained Philadelphia their face of the franchise, if you were to ask people who the greatest Philadelphia Flyers of all time a vast majority of them would choose Bobby Clarke. Clarke would play his entire 15-year career with the Philadelphia Flyers, he would win three Hart trophies one Lester B. Pearson Trophy and one Selke trophy. Clarke would end his career with 1210 points in 1144 games played. He would Captain the Flyers to their two Stanley Cup victories in the 1970s and would be honoured with his number 16 being retired by the Philadelphia Flyers on November 15th 1984.

Moving along we will now take a look at the 1972 draft where the Flyers held the seventh pick overall and chose a player who wore number seven during his career, Bill Barber. Playing between 1972 to 1984 Barber was one of the top Flyers players during the 70s and early 80s. With five 40 plus goal seasons, one of those reaching the hollowed 50 goal plateau, Barber was a lethal threat year in and year out to put pucks in the net. Scoring 25 points in 34 games combined during the 74 and 75 Stanley Cup winning playoffs Barber was a counted on source for the Flyers’ success.

For the final high flyer we will go to a pretty obvious one, technically he was not a flyers draft pick but he refused to sign or play for the Quebec Nordiques so he was subsequently traded to the Flyers to begin his NHL career. Eric Lindros was the first overall pick in the 1991 draft and he was touted as the next generational player. It was Gretzky then Lemieux and now Lindros and he sure came out with a bang. Lindros scored 75 points in 61 games in his rookie year, notching 41 goals in the process. He would stay with the Flyers for eight years until losing out on a full season in 2000-2001 due to injury and then was traded in the summer of 2001 to the Rangers. During his eight years with Philadelphia he was a dominant force, standing at 6 ‘4 and 230 pounds Lindros was the archetype of a power forward. In his eight seasons in Philly he always had over a point per game and in the 1994-1995 season he finished with 115 points and won the Lester B. Pearson and Hart trophies as the league MVP. He scored four seasons of 40 plus goals and had two other 90 plus point seasons, both seasons he missed 10 plus games as well. Lindros was a phenom and unfortunately we never got to see his true potential realized long term due to the terrible injuries he suffered throughout his career. On January 18th 2018 the Flyers retired Lindros’ jersey to cement him as one of the greatest Flyers of all time.

Moving along to picks that did not age like fine wine, first we will go back to a pretty recent draft in 2017 where the Flyers won the lottery to move up to the second spot in the draft. Picking Nolan Patrick who was touted as the number one prospect for quite some time before Nico Hischier took over and was the first overall selection. Patrick has not had it easy so far in his career, riddled with injuries and sub par performance when not injured, it is beginning to look like Patrick’s full potential will not be realised at the NHL level. Patrick played from 2017-2021 with the Flyers before being traded to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Ellis. In his three seasons Patrick played at most 73 games and his career high was 31 points. He scored a total of 70 points in 197 games for the Flyers. 2017 had names like Cale Makar at pick four and Miro Heiskanen at pick three and Elias Pettersson at pick five and Martin Necas at pick 12, so this pick could have had an immense upside that was missed.

Moving along to 2013 the Flyers were picking just outside the top ten at number 11 and chose massive 6 ‘6 winger Samuel Morin. Morin struggled mightily to gain traction in the NHL finally playing one regular season game in the NHL in the 2016-2017 season but would not return until next season for two games. He would gain another 26 NHL games before finishing his career. In his total 29 games he scored one goal. This pick was heavily scrutinised as time went on and it just did not age well looking back, especially as the next five picks from this 2013 draft are all NHL regulars to this day.

Another player who struggled to gain traction for the Flyers was that of 1999 first round pick Maxime Ouellet. He was a goalie elected 22nd overall in 1999 and went on to play two games for the Flyers, gaining no wins, and would spend the rest of his time with the franchise in the minor league. He would be traded along with many other assets to the Washington Capitals in March of 2002 for Adam Oates, Oates would however only play 14 games for the club before leaving in free agency for Anaheim. Ouellet’s tenure was just an all around bust for the Flyers, choosing a goalie is always risky, but it is even higher risk when it is done in the first round, and unfortunately this pick did not pan out.

Furthermore, never looking back and always looking forward we will move away from the past and move to the present, where we see the 2023 Philadelphia Flyers selecting at the number seven spot in this year’s draft, in total the Flyers have nine picks in this years draft, 1st, 3rd (NYR), 3rd (FLA), 4th, 4th (EDM), 5th, 6th, 6th, (OTT), 7th. Currently the Flyers do not have a whole heck of a lot when it comes to top tier prospects, their best is last year’s fifth overall pick Cutter Gauthier and he looks to be a solid A level prospect putting up 37 points in 32 games for Boston College last season. Other than that there isn’t much to write home about so at number seven Philly should pick the best available player. So any of Dvorsky, Moore or Leonard would be great additions to their team moving forward, all high quality and high offensive forwards that will help Philadelphia move toward being a playoff contending team in the future once again.

For more information on the 2023 NHL Draft class be sure to pick up your copy of the comprehensive DraftPro 2023 NHL Draft Guide.