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Was Mikael Renberg really the last? A Look Into The Flyers Bad Drafting That Dates Nearly 30 Years


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David McLeod
October 4, 2022  (0:24)
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Thirty years. It has been over thirty years since the Philadelphia Flyers drafted an impact player from outside of North America.

In 1990 the Flyers landed Swedish born Legion Of Doom beast, Mikael Renberg, in the second round - 40th overall. The following year the Flyers drafted one of the most dominant players of his generation, Peter Forsberg, with the sixth overall pick. Another native of Sweden, Forsberg was dealt to Quebec in the blockbuster trade that brought Eric Lindros to town and Forsberg didn't lace up the blades for Philly until injuries had ravaged his career.

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That is it! Mikael Renberg. The Philadelphia Flyers have not drafted a top tier player from outside of North America since. If you exclude Sweden, the Flyers haven't had ANY success in the NHL draft with any foreign-born players, since their inception into the league. Ivan Provorov is a Russian born player, but he came to North America at the age of 13 and was scouted and drafted out of the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings organization. Czechia born Vaclav Prospal, Lithuanian Dainius Zubrus, Russian Dimitri Yushkevich, and a few less notable Flyers draftees experienced relatively productive or serviceable careers, but not with the Flyers.

It is a sadly remarkable revelation, especially given the number of foreign-born players who have played at an elite level over that thirty-year span. Whether from Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, or more obscure countries, the Flyers have neglected to draft a single player from outside of North America since 1991, who has turned heads in the NHL.

How could the vast majority of NHL teams have drafted all-star caliber players from overseas, at some point in the last three decades, but not Philadelphia? Where does the blame lie? Has it been an organizational decision, to mainly draft North Americans? Are the Flyers scouts responsible for poorly scouting overseas? Does the fault lie with the Flyers revolving door of General Managers, who make the final call at the table?
Perhaps Ivan Fedetov will escape Siberia, turn into Andrei Vasilevskiy 2.0, and make this a moot point!
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Was Mikael Renberg really the last? A Look Into The Flyers Bad Drafting That Dates Nearly 30 Years

Who is to blame for the Flyers inability to draft overseas?

General Managers4141.8 %
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