After weeks of wondering, the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans finally know where they are picking in the NHL draft. Thanks to the NHL Lottery, the Flyers have been awarded the seventh overall pick. This wasn’t much of a surprise since they had the seventh worst record overall. And to be fair, nobody moved out of their projected spots except for Chicago switching with Anaheim for the top spot. So, it was a pretty nondramatic night.
The Flyers are picking seventh for the fifth time in their history. So, who were those picks. Let’s take a look:
1972 — Bill Barber
In their sixth ever NHL draft, the Flyers had the seventh overall pick. They selected forward Bill Barber. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His number 7 hangs in the rafters. He is an NHL Hall of Famer having scored 420 goals with 463 assists. His 883 points are third behind only Bobby Clarke and Claude Giroux.
If the Flyers get anything close to Barber’s talent, it would be a great draft pick. Barber was one of the major cogs of the Bullies Era teams. A player of that caliber would go a long way here in Philly.
1978 — Ken Linseman
In 1978, the Flyers had picks number six and seven. At the sixth spot, they selected defender Behn Wilson. One pick later, they selected forward Ken Linseman. Known as “The Rat” because he was a fantastic instigator, he was a fun player to watch. While he only played four years in Philly, before returning in 1989, he was one of the Bullies.
He had some good years in Philly, but was dealt so the Flyers could acquire future Hall of Famer Mark Howe. Linseman won a Stanley Cup in Edmonton before being traded to Boston. Perhaps he could’ve been a star in Philadelphia, but truth be told, I’d rather have had Howe.
1992 — Ryan Sittler
It’s not often you draft a top 10 pick that never sees the NHL. Heck, even German Rubtsov played in four. And yet, here we are.
Sittler, a left winger, was drafted by Philadelphia. After he played at the University of Michigan, he was assigned to the AHL Hershey Bears. Injuries took their toll on him and he retired when he was 25.
The 1992 Draft was not a stellar one, but the Flyers could’ve picked defenders Sergei Gonchar or Jason Smith at that spot or forward Martin Straka. Fun fact: the Flyers also had the 15th pick that year and still could’ve picked Smith or Straka, but selected Jason Bowen; a defender who played just 77 games.
2015 — Ivan Provorov
That’s right, the last time the Flyers selected the seventh overall pick, they chose Russian defender Ivan Provorov. Say what you will, he’s been around for seven seasons. He’s shown flashes of brilliance and been super frustrating at times.
He also just turned 26. Maybe the best is still yet to come. Some fans are high on him while others wouldn’t mind seeing him shipped out. John Tortorella seems to respect him. So, there is something there to say. He was the winner of this year’s Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team’s best defender; the third time he was won the award.
Well, I guess three out of four picks have worked out fairly well. Who will the Flyers pick? Stay tuned. We’ll find out on June 28th.