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Then and Now: Nikolay Zherdev

Many of the biggest names in today’s NHL were selected in the first round of the 2003 draft. After Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nathan Horton were picked with the first three overall picks, the Columbus Blue Jackets picked Nikolay Zherdev. Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, and Ryan Suter were the next three players to be picked after Zherdev, as the group of Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Brian Boyle, and Corey Perry were also taken in the opening round of the draft 10 years ago. …

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Then and Now: Oskars Bartulis

In 2004, the Philadelphia Flyers handed the Tampa Bay Lightning a fifth-round pick and two sixth-round picks in the 2004 NHL Draft in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. The Bolts selected Brandon Elliott, Jan Zapletal, and Karri Ramo with the picks Philly made in the deal. The Orange and Black took defenseman Oskars Bartulis with the final pick in the third round. The only Latvian player to date to play for the Flyers, Bartulis spent a season with the Moncton Wildcats and a season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL before he played for …

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Then and Now: Denis Gauthier

The 2013 Eastern Conference Finals will put the Boston Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Wade Redden will try and help Boston’s blue line slow down Pittsburgh’s offensive crew, which includes former Calgary Flame Jarome Iginla. Both Redden and Iginla were picked in the first round of the 1995 NHL Draft, as Redden went second overall behind Bryan Berard and Iginla went 11th overall to the Dallas Stars. Nine picks after Iginla the Calgary Flames picked Denis Gauthier. After being named to the QMJHL All-Star team and winning the Emile “Butch” Bouchard Trophy for QMJHL’s best defenseman in 1995-1996, Gauthier went …

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Then and Now: Martin Biron

Four goaltenders were picked in the first round of the 1995 NHL Draft. Two of those goalies, J.S. Giguere and Marc Denis, never played for the Philadelphia Flyers. The other two went on to serve as the starting goaltender for Philly at one point in their careers. One of those goaltenders was Brian Boucher. The other goalie was Martin Biron. Picked 16th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, Biron went on to see part-time duty for the organization between the seasons of 1995-1996 and 1998-1999. In 1999-2000, Biron suited up in 41 games for the Sabres during the regular season, but …

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Then and Now: R.J. Umberger

R.J. Umberger may have been born in Pittsburgh, but some of his best memories so far in the NHL have come with the franchise located on the other side of the state. Although his first NHL game came with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2005-06 season, Umberger was a member of two other NHL organizations before he made his way to Philly. The skater was picked 16th overall in the 2001 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, as he was the first American forward to be selected. Mike Komisarek was the first American picked by the Montreal Canadiens with the …

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