By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
Drafting outside the top 15 or so in the NHL is more often than not, a crap shoot. It takes excellent scouting, and sometimes dumb luck to pick a diamond in the rough in the later rounds. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s usually a feel-good story when it does.
This week I’ll rank the top five best Flyers’ draft picks in the later rounds (sixth round or later).
Number 5 – Dennis Seidenberg (6th round, 2001)
The German was originally taken by Philadelphia, though has split his 15-year career between six teams. He’s best known for his stint with Boston, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Never known as a scorer, he more than made up for that with his defensive abilities on the blueline. His career will last at least another year, as he re-upped his deal with the New York Islanders in April.
Number 4 – Roman Cechmanek (6th round, 2000)
While he didn’t play a ton of hockey for the Flyers (212 games), his talent was undeniable. Yes he was shaky at times and often got annoyed at teammates for wasting solid efforts, his numbers were still above average. Before Steve Mason entered the scene in 2012, Cechmanek was the last time Philly had an above-average goalie. He’s still the leader in Flyers history in goals-against-average and save percentage, and second in shutouts. While the team around him wasn’t as good as he was, Cechmanek is still one of the best goalies in Flyers history.
Number 3 – Gord Murphy (9th round, 1985)
Currently one of the Flyers assistant coaches, only four of his 14-year playing career was spent in Philadelphia. He is best known for his defensive role, winning the Barry Ashbee Trophy once during his tenure in Philadelphia. He retired in 2001, and has since been an assistant coach for Columbus, Florida and Philly.
Number 2 – Rick Tocchet (6th round, 1983)
The longtime Flyer, Tocchet had pretty much done it all at some point or another. Four All-Star games, one Stanley Cup, broke the 100-point plateau in a season, Flyers leader in Gordie Howe hat tricks, has 2,972 penalty minutes and 1144 games played. He just won his second non-playing Cup as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh. Tocchet has done it all.
Number 1 – Ron Hextall (6th round, 1982)
Cechmanek, who was already on this list, splits most of the Flyers records in the goaltending category with Ron Hextall. He leads in wins (240), shots against (13,036), and saves (11,669). Hextall spent eleven seasons as a player in Philadelphia, and now he’s doing his part to bring the Cup back to Philly as the general manager.
Antero Niittymaki (6th round, 1998)
Patrick Maroon (6th round, 2007)
Oskar Lindblom (5th round, 2014)
Photo Credit- Alchetron.com