Top 10 NHL draft picks in Flyers history
Top 10 draft picks in Flyers history
As the Flyers prepare for the 2019 NHL draft, here's a look at the 10-best draft picks in team history.
(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
10. Dave Schultz — 1969 draft, 52nd overall
The Flyers have certainly drafted 10 better players than Schultz. But his impact on the franchise is nearly impossible to quantify. “The Hammer” breathed life into the Broad Street Bullies that changed the landscape of hockey in the mid-70s. He even chipped in 20 goals during the first Stanley Cup season. Not bad for a fifth-round pick.
9. Jeff Carter — 2003 draft, 11th overall
It’s hard to believe Carter has 14 NHL seasons under his belt already. One of hockey’s top snipers during his career, Carter currently has 365 career NHL goals. He also has his name on the Stanley Cup twice as a significant contributor for both Kings’ championship teams.
8. Simon Gagne — 1998 draft, 22nd overall
The Quebec native joined the Flyers as a 19-year-old and immediately notched a 20-goal season. Gagne’s combination of size, skill and speed allowed him to contribute in a meaningful way for teams that were competing for Stanley Cups. He scored 47 and 41 goals for the Flyers in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
7. Pelle Lindbergh — 1979 draft, 35th overall
The Swedish-born netminder played just one full season as the primary starter at the NHL level. In that 1984-85 year, Lindbergh won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender and finished third for league MVP. Lindbergh died in November of the next season as the result of a single-car accident.
6. Brian Propp — 1979 draft, 14th overall
In the same draft that the Flyers selected Pelle Lindbergh, they also used their first-round pick on Propp. The native of Saskatchewan rewarded the Flyers' faith with 369 goals in 11 seasons. Propp made five All-Star teams during his decorated career. He also was a great playoff performer, most notably scoring 28 points in the Flyers’ 1987 Cup Final run.
5. Rick Tocchet — 1983 draft, 121st overall
As tough as he was talented, Tocchet became one of the top power forwards in the NHL during the late 80s and early 90s. A four-time All-Star, Tocchet finished his NHL career with 440 goals and nearly 3,000 penalty minutes. Remarkable production for a sixth-round draft pick taken well after the likes of Scott Tottle and Gord Walker.
4. Bill Barber — 1972 draft, 7th overall
Possibly the second-best skater in franchise history, Barber was arguably the final piece the Flyers needed to complete their championship roster. His 420 career goals are 51 more than the next-closest player in franchise history. The perfect finisher to pair with Bobby Clarke’s tenacious playmaking, Barber was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
3. Peter Forsberg — 1991 draft, 6th overall
Rookie of the Year. Scoring title. League MVP. Forsberg has all of those on his mantle. Unfortunately for the Flyers, he won them all as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg was the key piece in the trade that landed the Flyers Eric Lindros. Forsberg would return to the Flyers for parts of two seasons toward the end of his career but the organization missed out on the prime of arguably the greatest Swedish-born forward ever.
(USA Today Images)
2. Claude Giroux — 2006 draft, 22nd overall
While the Flyers have been inconsistent during his tenure, Giroux has been anything but. Season after season, Giroux continues to drive the Flyers’ offense while being a responsible two-way player. He’s made six All-Star teams and finished top five in MVP voting twice. Assuming health, the career-long Flyer will pass Bill Barber for second on the franchise’s all-time point list next season. He will likely retire as the second-best Flyers skater ever.
(USA Today Images)
1. Bobby Clarke — 1969 draft, 17th overall
The Flyers’ first NHL game took place in 1967, but in some ways the organization really began with the selection of Clarke in the 1969 entry draft. The soft-spoken kid from Flin Flon fell to the Flyers in the second round in part because he was diagnosed with diabetes. The rest of the NHL missed out on arguably the top playmaker of his era and a tenacious leader renowned for his mental and physical toughness. Two Stanley Cups. Three Hart Trophies. The greatest Flyer ever.