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Can Flyers hit on NHL draft's 19th overall pick? A look at the history

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Can Flyers hit on NHL draft's 19th overall pick? A look at the history

With the Flyers’ season over, it’s time to move forward to another busy NHL draft season, and what shapes up to be the most important offseason of Ron Hextall’s tenure as GM.

The Flyers have nine picks in June’s draft, including two first-rounders — No. 14 (from the Blues) and No. 19. Three of the nine picks have been acquired by Hextall via trades. 

Not including the previous two drafts, there have been seven players at No. 19 who never played in the league, but there have been significant hits. Let’s take a look at some hits and misses before we do the same for the 14th selection another day.

Hits

1990: Keith Tkachuk, LW, Jets
Tkachuk may not be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but there indeed is a case for him. Over his 20-year career, he scored 538 goals, 527 assists and 1065 points in 1,201 games. He’s a five-time All-Star and an Olympian. He’s in the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1996-97, he became the first American-born player to lead the league in goals with 52.

2003: Ryan Getzlaf, C, Ducks
Getzlaf is still playing and producing — 61 points in 56 games in 2017-18 — and is a product of the heralded 2003 draft, perhaps one of the deepest ever. He’s a three-time All-Star, a Stanley Cup champion and has 628 assists and 875 points in 917 career games.

1998: Robyn Regehr, D, Avalanche
Regehr enjoyed a steady career over 15 seasons. He went to Calgary as part of the Theo Fleury trade in 1999 and spent 11 of his 15 years with the Flames. Regehr won a Cup with L.A. in 2014.

1989: Olaf Kolzig, G, Capitals
Kolzig had quite the NHL career. He was a two-time All-Star, the 2000 Vezina Trophy winner and holds most of Washington’s goalie records: wins (301), games played (711), shutouts (35).

2012: Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Lightning
Could argue it’s too early to include Vasilevskiy, but the Russian backstopped the Lightning to the best record in the East during his first full season as the starter.

Misses

2000: Krys Kolanos, C, Coyotes
Kolanos' career was hampered by a severe concussion he suffered in 2002, his rookie season. Sill, he bounced around between four NHL teams and spent a season with the Phantoms. The former Boston College standout had just 20 goals and 42 points in 149 games.

2007: Logan MacMillan, C, Ducks
MacMillan, the son of former NHLer Bob MacMillan, lasted 30 games in the Ducks’ system before they traded him away. He never played in the NHL. Wasn’t a huge scorer in junior. The Ducks drafted him over the likes of Max Pacioretty (22), Mikael Backlund (24), David Perron (26) and P.K. Subban (43).

Analysis
Two years ago, the Flyers held the 18th pick in the draft. They traded back a few spots to draft German Rubtsov and acquire more picks. The 19th pick has produced some high-end players and plenty of useful role players. There have been busts too but that’s true with any spot.

It’s unfair to expect a 19th pick to have a franchise-changing impact. If it happens, great. But ideally, you want to look for a valuable middle-sixer or second-pair defenseman with potential. If the Flyers stay pat with both first-rounders, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a move down.

Claude Giroux's final Hart Trophy voting unveiled — and it should hurt

Claude Giroux's final Hart Trophy voting unveiled — and it should hurt

When the Hart Memorial Trophy finalists were unveiled in late April and Claude Giroux's name was nowhere to be found, there was noticeable outrage across the Delaware Valley — and understandably so.

Giroux, in his age 30 season, tied for the league lead in assists at 68 and finished second in points with 102, behind only Connor McDavid (108). He also recorded a better plus/minus at plus-28 than the three finalists — Anze Kopitar (plus-21), Taylor Hall (plus-14) and Nathan MacKinnon (plus-11).

Not only that, Giroux also emphatically rebounded from one of his worst seasons as a pro with career bests across the board — again, at age 30.

2016-17: 82 games, 14 goals, 44 assists, 58 points, minus-15

2017-18: 82 games, 34 goals, 68 assists, 102 points, plus-28

So when Giroux was not voted a Hart Trophy finalist, it led to the burning and lingering question of how ridiculous was the omission?

Giroux was already considered snubbed, but imagine if the Flyers' captain finished outside, say, the top five or six of the final voting? All hell would have broken loose in Philadelphia.

Turns out, Giroux did get some respect, finishing fourth in the final tally, which was released Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, where Hall won the Hart Trophy.

At least Giroux received his share of love, but in a way, it stings even more for his supporters given the fact he fell only five points shy of being a finalist.

Nonetheless, Giroux's 2017-18 season will never be forgotten, hardware or not. He punctuated the first 100-point campaign in Flyers history since Eric Lindros in 1995-96 by delivering a hat trick in Game 82 of the regular season to clinch the Flyers a playoff berth at the Wells Fargo Center.

Fans chanted MVP.

And that will have to do.

Other NHL Awards tidbits

• Shayne Gostisbehere finished 10th in the James Norris Memorial Trophy voting for best defenseman. Victor Hedman won the award.

• Ron Hextall came in eighth for General Manager of the Year while also notching a first-place vote. Dave Hakstol slotted in at 14th for the Jack Adams Award (NHL Coach of the Year). The Golden Knights swept the categories with GM George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant taking home the honors.

More on the Flyers

Was Couturier snubbed for Selke Trophy?

Simmonds narrowly misses out on Flyers history

Wayne Simmonds misses out on Mark Messier Leadership Award to Deryk Engelland

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Wayne Simmonds misses out on Mark Messier Leadership Award to Deryk Engelland

Wayne Simmonds narrowly missed out on becoming the first Flyer to win the Mark Messier Leadership Award. Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland took home the honors Wednesday night in Las Vegas. 

The award, chosen by Messier himself, is presented to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.

Simmonds was named a finalist through his extensive work in the community. The Flyers' forward has hosted a military unit in his private suite during every Flyers home game while also serving on the board of directors for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

Simmonds' philantropy also extends to his hometown of Scarborough, Ontario, where he has hosted Wayne's Road Hockey Warriors each summer over the past six years.

Engelland is the first player never to wear the ‘C’ to win the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which was first presented in 2007. Previous winners include Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber.  

Engelland’s award marked a big night for the expansion Golden Knights franchise. Gerard Gallant took home the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year, William Karlsson claimed the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy recognizing the player who exhibits the highest standard of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, and George McPhee was named the GM of the Year.

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