Via @DanTheFlyeraFan on Twitter
The Philadephia Flyers are synonymous for trading draft picks. Picks that were traded away for veteran players to help the playoff push. Most happened during the Holmgren era, but there were a few notable moves before Homer.
Whatever became of those picks? Well, the good news is this was list was harder to make than I thought it would be. Most of those picks were busts, but a few did turn into NHL stars.
This week I’ll rank the best players other teams drafted with a Flyers pick.
Number 5- Tim Gleason
The 23rd pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL draft, Tim Gleason is a veteran of 727 NHL games in his twelve year career. It was originally a Flyers pick that got traded to the Lightning, back to the Flyers, then to the Ottawa Senators. Gleason debuted in 2003-04 season and he would have brought stability to a Flyers defense that was aging and injury prone during the season. Gleason never emerged as a superstar, but he was a solid player for most of his career. He would have been a nice addition to the Flyers defense through the mid-2000’s.
Number 4- Richard Panik
Selected 52nd overall in 2009, Richard Panik has gone on to play for the Lightning and most recently the Chicago Blackhawks. Flyers traded the pick and Alex Picard to Tampa for Vaclav Prospal. Panik is the type of player the Flyers desperatly need right now, a third line scorer. Panik was underused in Tampa only to be traded to Chicago and end up on a line with Jonathan Toews where he had 44 points in 2016-17. Panik didn’t catch the attention of most during his days in Tampa, mainly because the Bolts are so deep at forward. Panik would be a huge improvement over Read, Weise, Bellemare and VandeVelde.
Number 3- Jason Zucker
Zucker had a breakout season in 2016-17, finishing with 22 goal and 57 points. A Minnesota Wild draft pick, going 52nd overall in 2010, he could have been a Flyers pick. Another pick that was moved often, the Flyers traded the pick to LA, then was moved to the Florida Panthers and finally landing in Minnesota. Zucker is widely considered one of the fastest skaters in the game today, yet again something the Flyers desperatly lack. His career is on the rise and we probably haven’t seen the best Zucker has to offer.
Number 2- Brandon Dubinsky
The Alaska native very well could have been a Flyer. Dubinsky is a player that can do a little of everything, score, work the PP/PK, hit, and is a master in the faceoff circle. He would have filled the elusive 2nd line center role nicely. Dubinsky was drafted in 2004, 60th overall by the New York Rangers. The Flyers traded the pick to the, at the time, Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Tony Amonte. The Coyotes traded the pick to the Rangers to move up ten spots to pick 50th. Dubinsky had a solid career in NY before being a part of the Rick Nash trade that sent him to Columbus.
Number 1- John Carlson
Ah yes, the best thing that never was for Philadelphia. We all knew this was coming. Carlson was selected 27th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2008. The trade that sent that pick to the Caps has to be one of the worst trades in recent memory (don’t worry, i’ll get to that). The Flyers traded the 27th pick for journeyman Steve Eminger and a 3rd round pick (Jacob Deserres). Eminger played all of twelve games for the Flyers, recording two assists and eight penalty minutes. Deserres never played an NHL game, heck he never made it out of juniors. Easily one of the low points of the past decade, it’s better this trade just stay buried in the history books.
Josh Leivo 86th overall by Toronto in 2011
Emerson Etem 29th overall by Anaheim in 2010
Maxin Lapierre 61st overall by Montreal in 2003
Colton Sissons 50th overall by Nashville in 2012
Photo cred Reed Saxon via ESPN.com