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05-12-2013, 10:42 AM
Bryzgalov's Blueline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by BobbyClarkeFan16 View Post
This isn't about envy or anything like that Chris. This is about a franchise that just cannot draft and develop defenseman (although Lauridsen and Gostisbehere are giving hope). You mention that they're one of the better drafting franchises in the NHL. They are, but when you look at what they've drafted and developed, it's been forwards. Defensemen are a different story when it comes to this club. Kevin Marshall busted, MA Bourdon has a head like a mushed watermelon, Lauridsen is still considered a work in progress and will probably top out as a bottom pairing guy and Gostisbehere needs to put on about 20 pounds and play more than 40 games to see what he offers. That's the fact of the situation.

Until they can draft and develop defenseman, then yes, their record of drafting and developing defenseman will always be compared to that of Phoenix and Detroit. I don't think that's slamming the development system or anything like that, I think it's a matter of the Flyers needing to address a development problem within the system. I don't think that's a problem at all and I think it's something that the Flyers will probably address this off season.
Sbisa and Pitkanen are both quality NHL defenseman. Woywitka, drafted 27th overall, is really the only defensive "bust" we've legitimately had in over two decades.

The problem is not that we suck at developing them, but that we don't try to develop them. The fallacy created by a bunch of 2nd round pick busts like Marshall, Ratchuk, and Bodrov (the only defensemen we've blown 2nd round picks on in over a decade) is pretty alarming here. You just don't get quality players beyond the 1st. It's a crapshoot.

We've only drafted 3 defensemen in the 1st round, when the vast majority of NHL talent is taken. Out of those 3, we've hit on 2 if not 2.5 of them (Woywitka played in the league for a bit). The second round has sucked for picking defensemen, but it sucks for every team picking every position.

We have a couple wins in there though, as many as any other team anyway. Bourdon's not in the NHL right now because of concussions. You can't fault development there. Alex Picard is roughly the same as Woywitka in terms of NHL feasibility, but he was drafted later. Seidenberg is an obvious late-round win for our organization even though he ended up elsewhere. Lauridsen looks to be potentially around the Picard/Woywitka level. Gostisbehere seems like the real key.

So we're not developing any less in later rounds than most organizations. The lack of picks used on defensemen in the first round has created this fictitious image of our organization.

While I wouldn't bet the farm that we could draft a defenseman better than other organizations out there, I think we certainly could start to develop blueliners if we started using 1sts on them.

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