Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? We’ve all seen redrafts and thought about who we should’ve picked instead of that guy we actually picked. Well, the Flyers are no different. We’ve had our fair share of steals and busts. I want to look back at the drafts since 2000 and see who the Flyers missed out on. The rules are simple; I’m looking back at every draft, starting in 2000, and picking the best. I will not be taking in to consideration positional needs. If we pick 3 all star goalies in one draft, then we pick 3 goalies. Also, I will try to draft the player as late as I can in order to try and get the best possible draft.
First Pick: Round 1 Pick 28
Original Pick: Justin Williams (RW)
New Pick: Justin Williams
The Flyers start strong this millennium by picking Justin Williams. Williams has had a great career. In 1264 games he had 797 points, 320 goals and 470 assists. He is most remembered for his playoff heroics. Nicknamed “Mr. Game 7”, Williams would show up in the playoffs where he would put up 102 points, 41 goals and 61 assists, in 162 playoff games, but specifically game sevens. He has played in 9 game sevens, with his team going 8-1. In these game sevens, Williams has the record for most points, 15, and tied with Glenn Anderson for most goals, 7, and winning the Conn Smythe in 2014 with the LA Kings. Williams also went to the 2007 NHL All Star Game. There is a large chunk of the hockey community who believes he should also be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame when he is eligible.
Others in contention: Niklas Kronwall (29), Ilya Bryzgalov (44), and Antoine Vermette (55)
Second Pick: Round 3 Pick 29 (94)
Original Pick: Alexander Drozdetsky (RW)
New Pick: Lubomir Visnovsky (118) (D)
This was a hard one to do. It wasn’t hard in knowing that Drozdetsky wasn’t the best pick, but it was finding a replacement, as I could’ve moved one of my later new picks up here to take someone else, but I decided against it. I looked between Visnovsky and trying to bring Engelland in, but Visnovsky was the better option. So, now that that’s out of the way lets look at the players. Drozdetsky never played in North America, staying in Russia and putting up somewhat respectful numbers with 172 points, 89 goals and 83 assists, in 387 games throughout the three levels of Russian hockey, including the Russian Super League. Then he put up 41 points, 19 goal and 22 assists, in 108 KHL games. Onto the new member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky would go on to play in 883 games in the NHL and get 495 points, 128 goals and 367 assists. Visnovsky would go on to be in the 2001 NHL All Rookie Team, go to the All Star Game in 2007, and be named to the NHL 2nd All Star Team in 2011.
Others in contention: Roman Cechmanek (171)
Third Pick: Round 6 Pick 4 (171)
Original Pick: Roman Cechmanek (G)
New Pick: Roman Cechmanek
Another pick the Flyers got right. The whole thing I was talking about with our 2nd pick involves this pick. I was wondering whether or not it would be better to draft Cechmanek with the 94th pick and then draft Deryk Engelland here. I decided against it because Visnovsky was the better defenseman. Roman Cechmanek was a servicable goalie for the Flyers and the Kings. During his 4 years in the NHL Cechmanek had a 110-64-28 record with a .919 sv% and 2.08 GAA and 25 shutouts. He played pretty well though, being 4th in Hart voting in 2000-01 season and was 2nd in Vezina voting and being named to the NHL 2nd All Star Team along with paying in the 2001 All Star Game. Then in the 2002-03 season he would share the Jennings Trophy with Martin Brodeur and fellow teammate Robert Esche.
Others in contention: Deryk Engelland (194)
Fourth Pick: Round 6 Pick 28 (195)
Original Pick: Colin Shields (RW)
New Pick: Henrik Lunqvist (205) (G)
This is the guy I knew you were all waiting for. Yes I am picking 2 goalies in a row, but come on, you can’t pass on Lundqvist. Shields wouldn’t play any higher than the ECHL while in North America picking up 78 points, 25 goals and 53 assists, in 119 games. Shields would then decide that playing in Britain was better. Now onto the man we should’ve picked. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t even the top rated Lundqvist in the draft! His identical twin brother, Joel, was taken in the 3rd round, 68th overall by Dallas. But Henrik would go on to be one of the best goalies during his 15 year reign as the King of Broadway. Lundqvist would put up a record of 459-310-96 with a .918 sv% and a 2.43 GAA and posting 64 shutouts. Lundqvist is 6th all time in wins and 2nd current wins, behind Marc-Andre Fleury. Lundqvist would play in 5 All Star Games (2009, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019), be the goalie for the 2006 NHL All Rookie Team, receive Vezina votes in 11 season (top 3 in 5 of them) winning the trophy in 2012. He would receive Hart votes in 7 different season, getting as high as 3rd in voting. He made the 2011-12 NHL 1st All Star Team and the 2nd All Star Team in 2012-13. And to top it off, he was voted as the 2nd best NHL goaltender during the 2010s. He is a surefire Hall of Famer just waiting for his Stanley Cup win, which he came close to in 2014 losing in the Finals to the Los Angeles Kings.
Others in contention: none
Fifth Pick: Round 7 Pick 13 (210)
Original Pick: John Eichelberger (C)
New Pick: Paul Gaustad (220) (C/LW)
Hey, look at that we got a center with Eichel in his last name! Seriously though, John Eichelberger doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Eichelberger played 10 games in the ECHL during the 2004-05 season and got 1 assist. Paul Gaustad was a good pick. In 12 seasons in the league he played in 727 games between Buffalo and Nashville tallying 231 points, 89 goals and 142 assists. Most points he had in a single season was 36, and he got some Selke votes 3 times during his career, but was never higher than 37th.
Others in contention: no one really
Sixth Pick: Round 7 Pick 30 (227)
Original Pick: Guillaume Lefebvre (C)
New Pick: Lubomir Sekeras (232) (D)
At this point its really splitting hairs. Lefebvre played in 13 NHL games tallying 6 points, 2 goals and 4 assists. Sekeras played in 213 games for the Wild and Stars tallying 71 points, 18 goals and 53 assists. Don’t have much else to say at this point.
Others in contention: literally anyone who played in the NHL after pick 227
Seventh Pick: Round 8 Pick 30 (259)
Original Pick: Regan Kelly (D)
New Pick: Andrej Nedorost (C) (286)
Kelly never played a game in the NHL. Instead, Kelly would play in the AHL, then the UHL and would eventually go over to play in Great Britain. Nedorost would play in 28 games tallying 5 points, all of which were assists with Columbus. After his stint in North America, Nedorost would go on to play in several European leagues.
Others in contention: again, literally anyone that played a game in the NHL
Eighth Pick: Round 9 Pick 26 (287)
Original Pick: Milan Kopecky (C)
New Pick: Simon Gamache (290) (LW)
Milan Kopecky never played in North America, and spent his entire career in Europe, mostly playing for Czech teams. Gamache played in 48 games in the NHL tallying 13 points, 6 goals and 7 assists, for the Thrashers, Predators, Blues, and Maple Leafs. He put over 250 points in the AHL as well before leaving to play in various leagues in Europe.
Others in contention: no one
The Flyers Real 2000 Draft
The Flyers New 2000 Draft
By: Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24)
Photo creds: wikipedia