With the NHL draft hoping to occur in about a month, it’s time to begin flashing back to the Flyers’ draft classes in the past two decades. In the latest installment of Philly Sports Network’s “where are they now” draft series, we take a look at the 2010 NHL draft.
Before getting into the picks, it’s important to analyze the season leading up to the draft. Now we all know what happened during the 2009-2010 season. The Flyers started off the season with a lackluster 13-11-1 record, resulting in the firing of John Stevens. Peter Laviolette then came in and shot them to a 41-35-6 (88 points) record at the end of the season. The 7th seeded Flyers matched up with the 2nd seeded Devils in the first round, yet took the series in five games. In the next round, they would defeat the Bruins is one of the greatest series comebacks in history. In the series after, they’d easily defeat the Habs in five games, sending them to the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks. We’ll just end the story there.
Anyways, their playoff run would place them at 29 in the draft order, however, their pick went to the Ducks via the Chris Pronger trade. On top of that, they sent their second-round pick with Denis Gauthier in a 2008 trade for Patrick Hersley and Ned Lukacevic. That pick was thrown around a lot but eventually became Jason Zucker. Analyze that deal and interpret that as you wish.
In the end of that madness, the Flyers came into the draft with a pick in each round from 3-6, with two 7th rounders.
With their first pick in the 2010 draft, Philadelphia selected Michael Chaput, a center from Lewiston (QMJHL). Coincidentally, his father, Alain Chaput, was drafted by the Flyers in 1977 as well. Michael was held a big build as a prospect, coming into the draft at 6’2 and nearly 200 pounds. For Lewiston, he was floating around 0.8 points per game but contributed for his team in some way each night. After staying with Lewiston for his season after the draft, Chaput earned the “A” on his jersey. With this came his clutch 59 points in 62 games, with 20 points in 13 playoff games. For 2011-2012, he’d find himself in Juniors still, except with the Shawinigan Cataractes. His 63 points in 57 games (12 in 11 in playoffs) earned him an ELC to join a professional roster.
Except, that wouldn’t be in the Flyers’ organization. Chaput was the lone piece of a trade deal that brought Tom Sestito and Greg Moore to Philly. He’d continue to contribute in the Columbus organization, getting a few call ups to the big leagues. His production earned him a contract with the Canucks, where he would play 68 games (9 points). He’d be traded to Chicago in 2018, only to be released right away and signed by the Canadiens. A year later, he’d get traded to Arizona in a player-for-player deal for Jordan Weal. Chaput still plays with the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, producing basically a point every other game.
With their second pick of the draft, Paul Holmgren would select Tye McGinn out of Gatineau (QMJHL). Mcginn was lighting up the Q, with 1.4ppg in his two full seasons there. It would only take him one year down there to sign his ELC, where he’d join the Phantoms full time in 2011. He had a harsh reality check his first season, only accumulating 18 points in 63 games. It wouldn’t take long for him to see NHL action, as he played 18 games with the Flyers in 2012-2013 (5 points). Next season would be the same, filled with AHL play and 18 NHL games (5 points again). In the 2014 offseason, Mcginn was sent to San Jose for their 3rd round pick (Felix Sandstrom) in 2015 NHL Draft.
McGinn has bounced around in a handful of organizations since. He hasn’t played in the NHL since his two games with Tampa Bay in 2015-2016 Currently, he’s sitting in Vegas’ organization, and had 31 points in 60 games this past season.
Philadelphia would go three straight forwards in this draft, choosing Michael Parks in the fifth.
Parks burst onto the prospect scene due to his elusiveness and quick hands. The right-hander seemed to always come away with the puck. Even though he didn’t seem to produce well, his ceiling and potential looked to be astronomical. He’d opt to go to college after the draft, where he averaged about 0.75 points per game. After four seasons at the University of North Dakota, he started his career with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2015 and the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL in 2016. He only got into three AHL games but produced full time with Quad City (56 points, 61 games).
Parks signed a contract in Finland to play for top-flight Liiga team, Vaasan Sport on July 26, 2017. Late in the 2017–18 season, Parks joined Timrå IK in the Swedish Allsvenskan. In the 2018–19 season, Parks continued his career in Europe agreeing to a one-year contract with an Austrian club, Dornbirn Bulldogs, on July 9, 2018. As a regular among the Bulldogs top 9 forwards, Parks added 10 goals and 22 points through 44 regular-season games.
As a free agent, Parks opted to return to North America and the ECHL after two seasons abroad, agreeing to a one-year deal with his home-state team, the Kansas City Mavericks on July 31, 2019. He decided to return overseas to play with the HKM Zvolen in Slovakia, where he currently is signed.
Paul Holmgren would turn to the blue liners in the sixth round. With #179 overall, the speedy d-man Nick Luukko joined the Flyers’ organization. Luukko was a University of Vermont commit, where he’d play for his entire four seasons. He accumulated a mere 35 points in 131 NCAA games, but still earned an ELC & a shot at the AHL level. At the end of his last season, he couldn’t gather a point in his six games.
Luukko was sent over to the ECHL affiliate Reading Royals, where he’d finish his career. He’d pick up 87 points with the Royals in 274 career games. Along with this, he carried the defensive front to the playoffs for three straight seasons. The closest he got to the NHL again was a one game loan to the Phantoms, but that was it. Luukko retired following the 2018-2019 season.
The Flyers would have two picks in the seventh round, picking one up from Carolina in exchange for Jon Matsumoto. The pick would become #206 overall, where they would choose defenseman Ricard Blidstrand. As evaluated by Elite Prospects, Blindstrand was “a big and strong defenseman. Plays determined and can play physical in his own end, but should do it more frequently. Moves the puck well and has a very good shot from the point. Passing game and decision game could use some improvement. Good first-pass.”
After being drafted in 2010, Blindstrand joined the WHL, which was his first league outside of Sweden. In three seasons, he’d accumulate 43 points in 132 games for both the Regina Pats and Prince George Cougars. That’s the furthest away he’d get from his homeland. He’d return to Sweden at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. Since then, Blindstrand has played for a few Swedish teams, producing 74 points in 352 games.
With their own seventh-round pick and their final pick of the draft, the Flyers selected another winger, Brendan Ranford. Coming out of the WHL, Ranford was producing more than a point per game for the Kamloops Blazers. He’d never end up playing with the Flyers, and wound up in the Dallas Stars’ organization in 2013.
Ranford would spend pretty much his next five years in the AHL. The reason I say pretty much? He got a shot at the NHL with the Dallas Stars for one game in 2014. He did record a point, but what an experience that must have been for the seventh-rounder. In 2018, he’d go overseas to play with Eisbären Berlin of the German DEL. After one year, he joined the Mora IK of the Swedish Allsvenskan league. This past season, he produced 23 points in 29 games.
Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports