With the NHL draft hoping to be done in about a month, it’s time to begin flashing back to the Flyers’ draft classes in the past two decades. In the fifth installment of Philly Sports Network’s “where are they now” draft series, we take a look at the 2004 NHL draft.
A draft where the Flyers had more picks than rounds, but found themselves without a pick until the third round, where they chose at 92 overall. The Flyers would have 11 picks in the nine-round draft, and those 11 picks spanned from NHL talent, to never making the jump, to even being incarcerated for murder. We’ll get to that later.
The Flyers found themselves without a selection in the first round of the 2004 draft. They traded the pick away with Jeff Woywitka and a 2005 third round choice for Mike Comrie in December of 2003. The Edmonton Oilers selected Rob Schremp with the Flyers’ first round pick.
The Flyers once again found themselves on the outside looking in with no second round selection as well. Philadelphia shipped their second round pick, Guillaume Lefebvre, and a 2003 third round pick to Arizona for Tony Amonte back in March of 2003. The trade paid off, as Amonte ended up being a key contributor for a pretty successful Flyers team.
Third Round – Rob Bellamy
With their first selection in the 2004 draft, the Flyers took Rob Bellamy, formerly of the EJHL’s New England Junior Coyotes. Bellamy immediately enrolled at the University of Maine for four years, and joined the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2008. After two seasons in the AHL, Bellamy was done in North America for the time being.
In 2010, he crossed the pond and signed a deal with the Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL. He posted 54 points in 44 games for the Panthers, finishing seventh in scoring on an incredibly deep team. After one year, Bellamy jumped back across the pond and gave the North American game another go.
He returned to the ECHL with the Elmira Jackals for the 2011/12 season. He ended up playing for the Jackals for three years before heading to the South Carolina Stingrays, where he eventually retired.
Fourth Round – R.J. Anderson & David Laliberte
R.J. Anderson was chosen at 101 overall by the Flyers, coming out of Centennial High School in the great hockey state of Minnesota. In accordance with Minnesota scripture, if you play hockey, then you attend the University of Minnesota, so that’s what Anderson did after being drafted. He would stay for four years before making the jump to the pros.
Starting in 2009, Anderson split time between the Elmira Jackals and Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. The next season, he played exclusively for the Jackals, with a few starts in the AHL with the Lake Erie Monsters & Binghamton Senators on loan.
After the 2010/11 season, Anderson went overseas and played the 2011/12 season in Norway. The very next season, he split time in Norway and Allsvenskan. After the 2012/13 season, Anderson retired, having never reached the NHL level.
23 picks later, the Flyers chose David Laliberte from the QMJHL. Laliberte played for the Prince Edward Island Rockets at the time, and finished out his career in the Q as captain of the Rockets. In 2007, he made the leap to the pros, splitting time that season between the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.
In 2008, he spent the entire year in the AHL with Adirondack. He spent a majority of the 2009/10 season there as well, but appeared in 11 NHL games with the Flyers.
2010/11 was an interesting season for Laliberte. He started with the Flyers organization, but was traded with Patrick Maroon to the Anaheim Ducks for Rob Bordson & Danny Syvret. A little over three months later, Anaheim traded Laliberte & Stefan Chaput to the Boston Bruins for Brian McGrattan & Sean Zimmerman. After playing for three teams in one season, Laliberte decided it was time for a change of scenery.
Laliberte departed North America for the DEL in 2011/12, suiting up for the Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg. His tenure in Germany lasted one year, as he came back to North America to suit up for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL & the Trenton Titans of the ECHL ins 2012/13.
Stretching into 2013/14, Laliberte played 2 ECHL games and decided to cross the pond one more time, this time going to Italy. The next season, he was playing in Norway, and the next two years were spent in Slovakia. After the 2016/17 season, Laliberte called it a career.
Fifth Round – Chris Zarb & Gino Pisellini
The fifth round saw the Flyers select two skaters. The first at 144 overall was Chris Zarb. Zarb was drafted out of the USHL, playing for the Tri-City Storm. Zarb decided to go the college route, attending Ferris State University in 2005. He played three years and went pro after his junior year.
In 2008, Zarb started in the ECHL, playing for the Mississippi Sea Wolves. He played four AHL games for the Philadelphia Phantoms that year as well. The next season, he split time with three ECHL teams. He played for the Johnstown Chiefs, Gwinnett Gladiators, and the Toledo Walleyes.
From 2010-2012, two seasons, he played in the EIHL with the Dundee Stars. He decided to take the 2012/13 season off, but returned the very next year, playing for Villard-de-Lans in France. At the end of the 2013/14 season, Zarb retired from professional hockey.
Gino Pisellini was taken at 149 overall out of the OHL, where he played for the Plymouth Whalers. After being drafted, he played two more seasons for Plymouth before turning pro in 2006. The 2006/07 season saw Pisellini split time between the Trenton Titans of the ECHL, and the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. Gino played one more season, this time for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, before retiring after the 2007/08 season.
Sixth Round – Ladislav Scurko & Frederik Cabana
With the 171st overall pick, the Flyers chose Ladislav Scurko out of Slovakia. Scurko immediately jumped to the WHL for three years, but then ventured back to Slovakia after his time was up in juniors. This is when things get interesting…
In April of 2009, Scurko confessed to the murder of Marek Liptaj, a hockey referee. This led to Scurko sitting out the two seasons from 2009-2011, but returning to play in 2011. Scurko played three seasons, even after being sentenced to eight years in prison for the murder. He was deemed to be in a state of diminished sanity, so he was sentenced to the minimum penalty.
After serving time from September of 2014 to December of 2015, Scurko returned to Slovakia and continued playing hockey. To this day, Scurko is still playing for HC Detva, and is currently the team captain. Wow.
The other sixth round selection for the Flyers in 2004 was Frederik Cabana. Cabana was taken 171 overall out of the QMJHL. Playing for the Halifax Mooseheads, Cabana played two more years in the Q before going pro in 2006 with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms. Cabana started the 07/08 season in the AHL also, playing a few games in the ECHL as well. He ended the season jumping to the LNAH, and then Austria.
Cabana started playing hockey in Germany in 2009, playing four seasons until 2013. The 2013/14 season started his tenure in the DEL, and he is currently still playing there, on his seventh season in the German hockey league.
Eighth Round – Martin Houle & Travis Gawryletz
Martin Houle was the Flyers first selection of the eighth round, going 232 overall. Houle played for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL, where he spent one more season after being drafted before making the jump to professional hockey.
In 2005/06, Houle suited up for the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL and the Trenton Titans of the ECHL. The very next season, he was a mainstay in the AHL. He got the call for one NHL game, and it wasn’t good. In 2007/08, Houle regressed, spending most of his time with the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL. The next season, Houle spent some time with two ECHL clubs. He suited up for the Cincinnati Cyclones and the Las Vegas Wranglers, but ended the year with the Saguenay 98.3’s of the LNAH. He spent 2010/11 in the LNAH as well, and retired following the end of the season.
Travis Gawryletz was taken at 253 overall in the eighth round out of the BCHL. After being drafted, Gawryletz spent four years at the University of Minnesota-Deluth before jumping to professional hockey.
Gawryletz played the 2008/09 season in the ECHL with the Elmira Jackals. The next season, he played 16 games with Elmira, and 51 on loan to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. He spent the 2010/11 season with Lake Erie, and the 2011/12 season with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.
Ending the 2011/12 season, Gawryletz played in the Czech Republic. He played the entire next season there as well. Come 2013/14, he split the season between the EBEL and the ECHL. Following that season, he officially retired from professional hockey.
Ninth Round – Triston Grant & John Carter
The final round of the 2004 NHL draft saw the Flyers taking two players. The first of the two was taken at 286 overall from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. Triston Grant played one more year with Vancouver after being drafted, and arrived with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2005. He saw eight games at the NHL level, but spent the rest of the year in the AHL.
He spent the 2007/08 season with the Phantoms, but departed for the Milwaukee Admirals the very next year. Grant saw three games at the NHL level with the Nashville Predators that year, but spent the rest of the season in the AHL. He spent 2010/11 with the Rochester Americans. 2011/12 with the Oklahoma City Barons, and 2012 to 2014 with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
After one season in Grand Rapids, Grant returned to Milwaukee for the 2014/15 season. It would be short lived, as he then returned to Grand Rapids for the 2015/16 season. In 2016, he would suit up for the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL, playing four games for the Wichita Thunder as well. The 2017/18 season would prove to be his last, as he spent it in the ECHL with the Quad City Mallards.
John Carter was taken four picks later at 291. He was drafted out of the EMJHL, and spent his draft plus one year in the EJHL and two other teams in the USHL (Sioux City Musketeers & Des Moines Bucaneers.) In 2005, Carter ended up back in the EJHL with the New Jersey Hitmen.
Weighing his options, Carter decided on attending Trinity College in 2006, spending two seasons with the Bantoms. At the end of the two seasons, Carter ceased to play hockey at a level recognized by all major stat websites.
Mandatory Credit – © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports