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A Flyers Draft Anthology: Skaters part two

featuring Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

St. Louis Blues v Philadelphia Flyers
Radovan Somik, and those terrible alternate jerseys
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI

Welcome back readers!

Today I wrap up my look back on the Flyers drafting history in European countries. I’ll be taking a look at the second half of the skaters. The following list is made up of draft picks from Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

European Skaters II

Draft Round Pick Player Nationality Pos
Draft Round Pick Player Nationality Pos
2001 6 172 Dennis Seidenberg Germany D
2011 4 118 Marcel Noebels Germany LW
1975 9 160 Viktor Khatulev Latvia D
2005 3 91 Oskars Bartulis Latvia D
1996 1 15 Dainius Zubrus Lithuania RW
1990 6 109 Vyacheslav Butsayev Russia C
1991 6 122 Dmitri Yushkevich Russia D
1991 7 138 Andrei Lomakin Russia LW
1992 2 31 Denis Metlyuk Russia LW
1992 5 103 Vladislav Boulin Russia D
1992 6 127 Roman Zolotov Russia D
1993 5 114 Vladimir Krechin Russia LW
1994 3 62 Artem Anisimov Russia D
1994 6 140 Alexander Selivanov Russia RW
1995 6 132 Dmitri Tertyshny Russia D
1995 8 204 Ruslan Shafikov Russia F
1996 7 187 Roman Malov Russia C
1997 4 103 Mikhail Chernov Russia D
1998 9 258 Sergei Skrobot Russia D
1999 6 160 Konstantin Rudenko Russia F
2000 3 94 Alexander Drozdetsky Russia RW
2001 6 177 Andrei Razin Russia C
2002 4 126 Konstantin Baranov Russia F
2002 6 192 Nikita Korovkin Russia D
2006 2 55 Denis Bodrov Russia D
2006 7 205 Andrei Popov Russia RW
2012 7 201 Valeri Vasiliev Russia D
2014 6 168 Radel Fazleev Russia C
2015 1 7 Ivan Provorov Russia D
2015 4 104 Mikhail Vorobyev Russia C
2016 1 22 German Rubtsov Russia C
1978 12 198 Anton Stastny Slovakia F
1981 7 137 Vladimir Svitek Slovakia F
1984 12 245 Juraj Bakos Slovakia D
1987 11 230 Darius Rusnak Slovakia C
1994 11 270 Jan Lipiansky Slovakia F
1995 4 100 Radovan Somik Slovakia LW
1998 8 222 Lubomir Pistek Slovakia RW
2003 3 81 Stefan Ruzicka Slovakia RW
2004 6 170 Ladislav Scurko Slovakia C
1979 5 98 Thomas Eriksson Sweden D
1982 4 77 Michael Hjalm Sweden W
1982 9 182 Magnus Roupe Sweden LW
1983 8 161 Pelle Eklund Sweden C
1987 4 83 Tomaz Eriksson Sweden LW
1988 8 161 Johan Salle Sweden D
1989 2 34 Patrik Juhlin Sweden LW
1989 6 117 Niklas Eriksson Sweden RW
1990 2 40 Mikael Renberg Sweden RW
1990 8 151 Patric Englund Sweden LW
1991 1 6 Peter Forsberg Sweden C
1992 9 199 Jonas Hakansson Sweden LW
1997 9 240 Par Styf Sweden D
1999 8 224 David Nystrom Sweden LW
2001 7 225 David Printz Sweden D
2007 5 122 Mario Kempe Sweden RW
2009 3 87 Simon Bertilsson Sweden D
2010 7 206 Ricard Blidstrand Sweden D
2012 4 111 Fredric Larsson Sweden D
2013 2 41 Robert Hagg Sweden D
2014 5 138 Oskar Lindblom Sweden LW
2014 7 198 Jesper Pettersson Sweden D
2016 5 139 Linus Hogberg Sweden D
2016 7 199 David Bernhardt Sweden D
2017 6 168 Olle Lycksell Sweden C
2018 2 50 Adam Ginning Sweden D
2018 7 205 Marcus Westfalt Sweden C
2003 4 108 Kevin Romy Switzerland C
2008 1 19 Luca Sbisa Switzerland D
2000 6 195 Colin Shields United Kingdom F

As per usual, here are the guys who made it (or are still playing) in the NHL:

Dennis Seidenberg

NHL Games with Flyers - 92

Total Games - 859

Though drafted by the Flyers, Seidenberg will mostly be remembered for his performances with the Boston Bruins, especially during the 2010-11 Stanley Cup winning season where he contributed 11 points as the Bruins beat the Canucks. Seidenberg was also a member of the 2005 Calder Cup winning Phantoms team. He is the only German on this list (Marcel Noebels did not make the NHL).

Oskars Bartulis

NHL Games with Flyers - 66

Total Games - 66

Bartulis is the only Latvian representative to have played in the NHL, though perhaps the other man listed beside Bartulis is more interesting. While Bartulis mostly only played for the Flyers during one season (2009-10), he did play seven games during the Flyers’ surprise cup run. However, there is another Latvian whom the Flyers drafted in 1975 named Viktors Hatuļevs, who was the first Soviet to be drafted in the NHL. Unfortunately he ever got a chance to play in the NHL. Latvia, being a Soviet state, barred skaters from playing in the NHL. There are some interesting facts about him, present on his Wikipedia page:

“Instead of being allowed to play in North America, he was banned from Soviet hockey for five years in 1975 for fighting, though the suspension was later lifted.”

“In 1981 Hatuļevs was banned for life from the Soviet Hockey League for hitting a referee during a fight with another player.”

Woah, five years? Sheesh.

Dainius Zubrus

NHL Games with Flyers - 200

Total Games - 1293

Zubrus would play 2 ½ seasons for the Flyers from 1996-97 until 1998-99. Zubrus would contribute 62 points in his 200 Flyers games. To be honest, I mostly will remember him as a New Jersey Devil, and more favorably as the only Lithuanian Flyer. He would eventually wind up in a trade that would bring Mark Recchi back to Philadelphia. Zubrus certainly played a long time, lasting all the way until 2015-16 and breaking 1000 games played.

Vyacheslav Butsayev

NHL Games with Flyers - 99

Total Games - 132

Not really anything remarkable about Butsayev. After he was released by the Flyers he bounced around quite a bit and never stuck anywhere.

Dmitry Yushkevich

NHL Games with Flyers - 215

Total Games - 786

Another player best remembered by another franchise. Yushkevich really came into his own during his time with the Maple Leafs, and while paired with Danny Markov, helped the Leafs advance to the 1999 Eastern Conference finals as they beat Jaromir Jagr’s Penguins. He would be named an all star in 2000. Funny enough, Yushkevich was traded to Toronto for, among other assets, the pick that would become Dainius Zubrus.

Andrei Lomakin

NHL Games with Flyers - 108

Total Games - 215

Lomakin was claimed by Florida in the expansion drafted after having 50 points in 108 games with the Flyers. He would post similar numbers in Florida for the two years he spent there.

Alexander Selivanov

NHL Games with Flyers - 0

Total Games - 459

Before even having played for the Flyers, Selivanov was traded to Tampa for the pick that would become a player seen later on this list, Radovan Somik. He had a decent career as a bottom 6 forward, ending his NHL time in Columbus.

Dmitri Tertyshny

NHL Games with Flyers - 62

Total Games - 62

Tertyshny enjoyed a decent rookie season in 1998-99, and was looking forward to a bright future. However, tragedy took Tertyshny far too early. He died during the offseason leading to 1999-00 in a freak boating accident. He was just 22 year old.

Ivan Provorov

NHL Games with Flyers - 219

Total Games - 219

*totals as of Feb 10, 2019

Provorov is one of a very select few players on this list that are still active in the NHL, and play for the Flyers. Provy was taken in the first round at the 2015 draft, and he’s played first pair minutes ever since his NHL debut. I would say he’s one of the biggest successes the Flyers have had drafting a European player.

Misha Vorobyev

NHL Games with Flyers - 14

Total Games - 14

*totals as of Feb 10, 2019

Having started the season with the Flyers, Vorobyev was sent back down to the Phantoms, but has since been called back up and has looked markedly improved, even if he only plays 4th line minutes.

Anton Stastny

NHL Games with Flyers - 0

Total Games - 650

Anton was originally drafted by the Flyers in 1978, but the selection was invalidated because he was too young. He re-entered the draft the following year and was taken by the Nordiques. He is the younger brother of Peter Stastny, and uncle of Paul Stastny. Anton scored 636 points in 650 games for Quebec.

Radovan Somik

NHL Games with Flyers - 113

Total Games - 113

Somik played two seasons in the NHL, both with the Flyers. He scored 32 points in his 113 games.

Thomas Eriksson

NHL Games with Flyers - 208

Total Games - 208

The big Swedish defenceman made the all rookie team in 1983-84. He played with the Flyers for 5 seasons, scoring 44 points one year.

Pelle Eklund

NHL Games with Flyers - 589

Total Games - 594

Eklund is by far one of the finest Europeans the Flyers have drafted. He is second all time in points scored by a European Flyer, and is one of the most notable Flyers of the 1980’s. I wrote an article earlier this year about Eklund and his teammate Ilkka Sinisalo that details Eklund’s career and legacy.

Mikael Renberg

NHL Games with Flyers - 366

Total Games - 661

Renberg famously made up 1/3rd of the Legion of Doom line with Eric Lindros and John Leclair. He tallied 296 points as a Flyer, and has also been a part of some notable trades. Firstly, he was traded along with Karl Dykhuis to Tampa for a few draft picks which would become Simon Gagne, Justin Williams, and Maxime Ouellet. He was then traded back to the Flyers along with Daymond Langkow, and in 2000, was traded to Phoenix for Rick Tocchet.

Peter Forsberg

NHL Games with Flyers - 100

Total Games - 708

Another one that got away. I detail my thoughts on Forsberg in this article, but man was he fantastic...just not mostly for the Flyers. One wonders what the Flyers could have been had they kept Forsberg and not traded for Eric Lindros, even if both men are hall of famers.

Robert Hagg

NHL Games with Flyers - 126

Total Games - 126

*totals as of Feb 10, 2019

Hagg has blossomed into a decent 3rd pair defenceman with 2nd pair potential in my eyes. We’ll see if he can become better than what he is now, but he’s certainly not a negative on this Flyers team the way it is currently.

Oskar Lindblom

NHL Games with Flyers - 77

Total Games - 77

*totals as of Feb 10, 2019

Lindblom has looked very good in recent games, and really has shown chemistry with Nolan Patrick. Oskar is simply another example of a successful Swede in the NHL. Sweden seems to be a country the Flyers have had success scouting, thanks to the efforts of former head of European Scouting Ilkka Sinisalo.

Luca Sbisa

NHL Games with Flyers - 39

Total Games - 504

Sbisa found himself in a good situation last season, as he was picked in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights, and played 12 games in their historic run. As a Flyer, he only played one season before getting traded to Anaheim (along with Joffrey Lupul) for Chris Pronger.

Lastly, all of the following players only played one full NHL season (in terms of games) and posted similar stats:

Stefan Ruzicka

NHL Games with Flyers - 55

Total Games - 55

Magnus Roupe

NHL Games with Flyers - 40

Total Games - 40

Patrik Juhlin

NHL Games with Flyers - 56

Total Games - 56

David Printz

NHL Games with Flyers - 13

Total Games - 13

Mario Kempe

NHL Games with Flyers - 0

Total Games - 18

As I alluded to earlier, the Flyers for whatever reason love drafting prospects from Sweden. The Flyers have drafted 26 Swedish skaters, compared to the 25 Russians. The Swedish players also contributed more games to the Flyers organization, 1466 games total. For comparison, Russian prospects played 717 Flyers games. This also holds true in overall NHL figures. The number of games played is as follows:

  1. Sweden - 2501
  2. Russia - 1887
  3. Lithuania - 1293 (Thanks to Dainius Zubrus)
  4. Germany - 859 (Thanks to Dennis Seidenberg)
  5. Slovakia - 818
  6. Switzerland - 495 (Thanks to Luca Sbisa)
  7. Latvia - 66 (Thanks to Oskars Bartulis)
  8. United Kingdom - 0 (Ultimately, Colin Shields would not make it to the NHL, though he has had a long successful career in the EIHL with the Belfast Giants. I’ve actually seen him play in person!)

In the end, in terms of NHL experience, the Flyers have had the best luck with drafting from Sweden, Russia, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania, as prospects from those countries tallied 1,000 NHL games or more. I don’t think it would be fair to say that any one nation has had the most success, though of course individual players can be deemed a success or failure. To that end, we will see if the current wave of European prospects blossom into NHL calibre players, joining the likes of Ivan Provorov, Oskar Lindblom, and Robert Hagg.

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