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Ranking the 5 Greatest Rookie Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

Dan FremuthContributor IIIJune 15, 2014

Ranking the 5 Greatest Rookie Seasons in Philadelphia Flyers History

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    Ken White/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Flyers have had a host of impact players through the years. Hall of Famers, All-Stars and rookies.

    While the 2013-2014 edition of the Flyers roster didn't feature any impact, first-year players, that certainly hasn't always been the case for the orange and black. Since 1983, Philadelphia has had 10 players named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

    Here's a look at the five greatest rookie campaigns in Flyers history.

5. Simon Gagne, 1999-2000

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    At just 19 years old, Simon Gagne burst onto the NHL scene during the 1999-2000 season.

    Less than 12 months after being chosen with the 22nd overall pick in the 1998 draft, Gagne had completed a rookie campaign that saw the Quebec native register 20 goals, 28 assists and 48 points while suiting up for 80 of the club's 82 contests.

    Gagne's 20 goals were good for fourth-best on the roster that year while his 28 assists and 48 points were good for sixth among all Flyers.

    That season was the first of nine campaigns during which Gagne would record double-digit goals and was good enough to have the winger named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

4. Pelle Lindbergh, 1982-1983

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    Photo courtesy of Getty Images/B. Bennett

    After being tabbed by the Flyers with the 35th overall selection in the 1979 NHL draft, it took Pelle Lindbergh a few years to become a regular in Philadelphia's goal crease. But once he was, he made an instant impact.

    In 40 appearances during the 1982-83 season, the Stockholm, Sweden native produced a 23-13-3 overall mark while compiling a 2.98 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. Three of Lindbergh's wins that year were shutouts while his 23 triumphs during his rookie season proved to be the second-highest total in his far-too-brief NHL career.

    For his efforts, Lindbergh was named to the All-Star Game in the midst of that campaign and was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team at season's end.

Eric Lindros, 1992-1993

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    DON HEUPEL/Associated Press

    Eric Lindros may not have lived up to all the hype that preceded his NHL career, but he certainly had an impactful first campaign.

    During the 1992-93 season, the Big E produced 41 goals, 34 assists and 75 points in just 61 games.

    Lindros' 41 goals were good for second-best on the team while his 75 points finished third on the roster.

    Normally, that sort of first-year production makes a player a lock for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. Unfortunately for Lindros and the Flyers, his production came during the same season in which Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne set an NHL rookie record for goals (76) and points (132) in a single season.

    Still, Lindros' totals were more than enough to see the London, Ontario native named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

Ron Hextall, 1986-1987

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    Ken White/Getty Images

    Ron Hextall had several outstanding seasons throughout his Flyers career, but his first was arguably his most impressive.

    During the 1986-87 season, Hextall compiled a 37-21-6 record in 66 appearances while posting a 3.00 goals-against average to go along with a .902 save percentage.

    His 37 victories were the most in a single season for Hextall over his 13-year NHL career. What's more, the Manitoba native's production was so impressive that he was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league's top netminder while also being named to the NHL's First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team.

    Despite falling to the Edmonton Oilers in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final, Hextall capped off his spectacular rookie campaign by claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP after a 15-11 mark in 26 playoff appearances.

Mikael Renberg, 1993-1994

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Mikael Renberg began his NHL career with what would prove to be the best season of his 10-year NHL tenure.

    While playing in 83 of Philadelphia's 84 games during the 1993-94 season, Renberg recorded 38 goals, 44 assists and 82 points. The Swede finished third among all Flyers in both goals and points that year while ending the campaign with the fifth-most assists on the team.

    To date, Renberg's 82 points remain a franchise rookie record for most points in a single season.

    For his efforts, Renberg was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team, but he lost out on the Calder Trophy to future goaltending legend Martin Brodeur.

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