Flint Firebirds / Plymouth Whalers NHL History

124 of the organization’s alums have been drafted in the NHL including 18 first round picks. Of the 124 drafted alums, 14 former skaters from the Firebirds/Whalers’ organization played in the NHL in the 2018-19 season (see below). Since the Flint Firebirds’ inception four season ago in 2015, the club has had 17 drafted or NHL signed players on its roster consisting of Will Bitten (Montreal), Dennis Busby (Arizona), Nick Caamano (Dallas), Connor Chatham (New Jersey), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas), Fedor Gordeev (Toronto), Kyle Keyser (Boston Bruins), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida), Nick Mattinen (Toronto), Brent Moran (Dallas), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina), Alex Peters (Dallas), Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit), Kole Sherwood (Columbus), Jalen Smereck (Arizona) and Josh Wesley (Carolina).
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22:  Ty Dellandrea shakes the hand of NHL Commissioiner Gary Bettman after being selected thirteenth overall by the Dallas Stars during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Ty Dellandrea shakes the hand of NHL Commissioiner Gary Bettman after being selected thirteenth overall by the Dallas Stars during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas.

More than 250 scouts representing all 31 NHL clubs attended a Firebirds game in Flint throughout the 2018-19 season, an average of seven new scouts per home game. Additionally, Flint Firebirds Forward Ty Dellandrea was selected by the Dallas Stars in the first round, 13th overall of the 2018 NHL Draft (Watch Video).

The highest alum to be drafted in the NHL is Bryan Berard who was picked with the first overall selection by the Ottawa Senators in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. The next highest alums to be drafted after Berard are Tyler Seguin (2nd overall in 2010 by Boston) and David Legwand (2nd overall in 1998 by Nashville).

At least one skater that has played for Plymouth or Flint has been drafted in all 28 years of the organization’s past dating back to 1991. The most players ever picked in an NHL draft came in 2000 when six Whalers were selected.

Current Flint Firebirds & Plymouth Whalers in the NHL (14 players):

Name OHL Years 2018-19 NHL Team NHL Video
1 Jared Boll 2005-07 Anaheim Highlights 
2 Connor Carrick 2012-13 Toronto Highlights
3 Ryan Hartman 2012-14 Nashville Highlights
4 Sonny Milano 2014-15 Columbus Highlights
5 JT Miller 2011-12 New York Rangers Highlights 
6 James Neal 2003-07 Vegas Highlights
7 Michal Neuvirth 2006-08 Philadelphia Highlights
8 Stefan Noesen 2009-13 New Jersey Highlights
9 Rickard Rakell 2010-13 Anaheim Highlights
10 Tyler Seguin 2008-10 Dallas Highlights
11 Chris Thorburn 2002-03 St. Louis Highlights
12 Vincent Trocheck 2012-13 Florida Highlights
13 Justin Williams 1998-00 Carolina Highlights
14 Tom Wilson 2010-13 Washington Highlights


Flint Firebirds & Plymouth Whalers All-Time in the NHL (65 players):

Name OHL Years NHL Teams NHL Years
Jamie Allison 1992-95 Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Nashville, Flordia 1994-06
Yuri Babenko 1997-98 Colorado 2000-01
Jason Bacashihua 2001-02 St. Louis 2005-07
Brett Bellemore 2005-09 Carolina 2013-15
Bryan Berard 1994-96 NY Islanders, Toronto, NY Rangers, Boston, Chicago, Columbus 1996-08
Jared Boll 2005-07 Columbus 2007-Present
Jesse Boulerice 1995-98 Philadelphia, Carolina, St. Louis, Edmonton 2002-09
Fred Brathwaite 1992-93 Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis, Columbus 1994-04
Evan Brophey 2005-07 Chicago, Colorado 2011-12
Kevin J. Brown 1992-04 Los Angeles, Hartford, Carolina, Edmonton 1994-00
Eric Cairns 1991-94 NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Florida, Pittsburgh 1997-07
Greg Campbell 2000-02 Flordia, Boston 2003-Present
Connor Carrick 2012-13 Washington 2013-Present
Jamie Devane 2008-12 Toronto 2013
Harold Druken 1996-99 Vancouver, Toronto, Carolina 2000-04
Robert Esche 1995-98 Phoenix, Philladelphia 1999-07
Matt Hackett 2007-10 Minnesota, Buffalo 2012-2015
Sean Haggerty 1993-96 Toronto, NY Islanders, Nashville 1995-01
Ryan Hartman 2012-14 Chicago 2014-Present
Todd Harvey 1991-95 Dallas, NY Rangers, San Jose, Edmonton 1995-06
Cole Jarrett 1999-03 NY Islanders 2005-06
Michal Jordan 2007-10 Carolina 2013-Present
Tomas Kurka 1999-01 Carolina 2003-04
Chad LaRose 2000-03 Carolina 2006-13
Mark Lawrence 2000-02 Dallas, NY Islanders 1995-01
David Legwand 1997-99 Nashville, Detroit, Ottawa 1999-Present
David Liffiton 2001-04 NY Rangers, Colorado 2006-11
Eric Manlow 1994-95 Boston, NY Islanders 2001-04
Paul Mara 1997-99 Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Boston, NY Rangers, Anaheim, Montreal 1998-11
Phil McRae 2009-10 St. Louis 2011-12
Sonny Milano 2014-15 Columbus 2016-Present
JT Miller 2011-12 NY Rangers 2013-Present
Mike Minard 1995-96 Edmonton 1999-00
Jeff Mitchell 1992-95 Dallas 1997-98
John Mitchell 2001-05 Toronto, NY Rangers, Colorado 2009-Present
James Neal 2003-07 Dallas, Pittsburgh, Nashville 2008-Present
Alex Nedeljkovic 2012-16 Carolina 2016-17
Michal Neuvirth 2006-08 Washington, Buffalo, NY Islanders 2009-Present
Stefan Noesen 2009-13 Anaheim 2014-Present
Pat Peake 1990-93 Washington 1994-98
Justin Peters 2005-06 Carolina, Washington, Arizona 2010-Present
Rickard Rakell 2010-13 Anaheim 2013-Present
Mike Rucinski 1992-96 Carolina 1998-01
Tyler Seguin 2008-10 Boston, Dallas 2010-Present
Tim Sestito 2001-05 Edmonton, New Jersey 2008-15
Tom Sestito 2004-07 Columbus, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Pittsburgh 2007-Present
Jeremy Smith 2005-09 Nashville, Columbus, Boston, Colorado 2011-Present
Karl Stewart 2000-03 Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay 2004-08
Damian Surma 1998-02 Carolina 2002-04
Chris Terry 2005-09 Carolina 2013-Present
Chris Thorburn 2002-03 Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Winnipeg 2006-Present
Vincent Trocheck 2013 Florida 2014-Present
Nikos Tselios 1997-99 Carolina 2001-02
Kris Vernarsky 1998-02 Boston 2002-04
Jason Ward 1998-99 Montreal, NY Rangers, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay 1999-09
Scott Wedgewood 2008-12 New Jersey 2015-Present
Stephen Weiss 1999-02 Florida, Detroit 2002-15
Derek Wilkinson 1991-93 Tampa Bay 1996-99
Justin Williams 1998-00 Philadelphia, Carolina, Los Angeles, Washington 2000-Present
Tom Wilson 2010-13 Washington 2013-Present
Chad Wiseman 2000-01 San Jose, NY Rangers 2003-06
James Wisniewski 2000-03 Chicago, Anaheim, NY Islanders, Montreal, Columbus, Anaheim 2005-Present
Bob Wren 1991-94 Anaheim, Toronto 1997-02
Rob Zepp 1998-01 Philadelphia 2014-15


NHL Drafted & Signed Skaters to Play for the Flint Firebirds & Plymouth Whalers (124 Players):

Name/Draft Year NHL Team Draft Round Overall Pick
Vladislav Kolyachonok Florida 2nd Round 52nd Overall
Ethan Keppen Vancouver 4th Round 122nd Overall
Ty Dellandrea Dallas 1st Round 13th Overall
Dennis Busby Arizona 5th Round 145th Overall
Fedor Gordeev Toronto 5th Round 141st Overall
Kole Sherwood Columbus Signed July 2015
Jalen Smereck Arizona Signed October 2016
Will Bitten Montreal 3rd Round 70th Overall
Nick Cammano Dallas 5th Round 146th Overall
Vili Saarijärvi (Green Bay) Detroit 3rd Round 73rd Overall
Liam Dunda St. Louis 6th Round 176th Overall
Sonny Milano (US NTDP) Columbus 1st Round 16th Overall
Alex Nedeljkovic Carolina 2nd Round 37th Overall
Connor Chatham New Jersey 3rd Round 71st Overall
Alex Peters Dallas 3rd Round 75th Overall
Josh Wesley Carolina 4th Round 96th Overall
Brent Moran (Niagara) Dallas 4th Round 115th Overall
Matt Mistele Los Angeles 6th Round 180th Overall
Ryan Hartman Chicago 1st Round 30th Overall
Victor Crus Rydberg (Linköpings HC) NY Islanders 5th Round 136th Overall
Tom Wilson Washington 1st Round 16th Overall
Mitchell Heard Colorado 2nd Round 41st Overall
Connor Carrick (US NTDP) Washington 5th Round 137th Overall
Cody Payne Boston 5th Round 145th Overall
Gianluca Curcuruto (SOO) Columbus 7th Round 182nd Overall
JT Miller NY Rangers 1st Round 15th Overall
Stefan Noesen Ottawa 1st Round 21st Overall
Rickard Rakell Anaheim 1st Round 30th Overall
Garrett Meurs Colorado 5th Round 123rd Overall
Simon Karlsson (Malmo) Nashville 5th Round 142nd Overall
Matt Mahalak Carolina 6th Round 163rd Overall
Tyler Seguin Boston 1st Round 2nd Overall
Scott Wedgewood New Jersey 3rd Round 84th Overall
Austin Levi Carolina 3rd Round 85th Overall
Jamie Devane Toronto 3rd Round 68th Overall
Matt Hackett Minnesota 3rd Round 77th Overall
AJ Jenks Florida 4th Round 100th Overall
Michal Jordan Carolina 4th Round 105th Overall
Jeremy Smith Nashville 2nd Round 54th Overall
Chris Terry Carolina 5th Round 132nd Overall
Brett Bellemore Carolina 6th Round 162nd Overall
Michal Neuvirth Washington 2nd Round 34th Overall
Tom Sestito Columbus 3rd Round 85th Overall
John Armstrong Calgary 3rd Round 87th Overall
James Neal Dallas 2nd Round 33rd Overall
Evan Brophey (Belleville) Chicago 3rd Round 68th Overall
Dan Collins Florida 3rd Round 90th Overall
Jared Boll (Kingston) Columbus 4th Round 101st Overall
Ondrej Otcenas Carolina 4th Round 123rd Overall
Ryan McGinnis Los Angeles 6th Round 184th Overall
Justin Peters (Toronto) Carolina 2nd Round 38th Overall
Vaclav Meidl Nashville 3rd Round 81st Overall
Gino Pisellini Philadelphia 5th Round 149th Overall
Jonas Fiedler Carolina 8th Round 235th Overall
David Liffiton Colorado 2nd Round 63rd Overall
John Mitchell Toronto 5th Round 158th Overall
Jeff Weber Buffalo 8th Round 235th Overall
Gregory Campbell Florida 3rd Round 67th Overall
Jonas Fiedler San Jose 3rd Round 86th Overall
James Wisniewski Chicago 5th Round 156th Overall
Martin Cizek Buffalo 9th Round 271st Overall
Stephen Weiss Florida 1st Round 4th Overall
Jason Bacashihua (Chicago) Dallas 1st Round 26th Overall
Chris Thorburn (North Bay) Buffalo 2nd Round 50th Overall
Rob Zepp Carolina 4th Round 110th Overall
Cole Jarrett Columbus 5th Round 141st Overall
Justin Williams Philadelphia 1st Round 28th Overall
Tomas Kurka Carolina 2nd Round 32nd Overall
Libor Ustrnul Atlanta 2nd Round 42nd Overall
Kris Vernarsky Toronto 2nd Round 51st Overall
Jared Newman Carolina 4th Round 110th Overall
Nate Kiser Phoenix 5th Round 160th Overall
Aaron Molnar (Ply-Lon) Colorado 7th Round 221st Overall
Chad Wiseman (Mississauga) San Jose 8th Round 246th Overall
Rob Zepp Atlanta 4th Round 99th Overall
Preston Mizzi (Peterborough) Phoenix 4th Round 123rd Overall
Damian Surma Carolina 6th Round 174th Overall
David Legwand Nashville 1st Round 2nd Overall
Maxim Linnick St. Louis 2nd Round 41st Overall
Tomek Valtonen Detroit 2nd Round 56th Overall
Kevin Holdridge Carolina 3rd Round 70th Overall
Paul Mara (Sudbury) Tampa Bay 1st Round 7th Overall
Jason Ward (Erie) Montreal 1st Round 11th Overall
Nikos Tselios (Belleville) Carolina 1st Round 22nd Overall
Harold Druken Vancouver 2nd Round 36th Overall
Adam Colagiacomo (Lon-Osh) San Jose 4th Round 82nd Overall
Pat Parthenais Florida 5th Round 127th Overall
Eric Gooldy Toronto 6th Round 138th Overall
Joel Trottier (Ottawa) Boston 7th Round 162nd Overall
Randy Fitzgerald Carolina 8th Round 199th Overall
Yuri Babenko Colorado 2nd Round 51st Overall
Steve Wasylko Hartford 4th Round 104th Overall
Mark McMahon (Kitchener) Hartford 5th Round 116th Overall
Jesse Boulerice Philadelphia 5th Round 133rd Overall
Robert Esche Phoenix 6th Round 139th Overall
Colin Beardsmore (Det-NB) Detroit 7th Round 189th Overall
Chad Cavanaugh (London) Washington 9th Round 232nd Overall
Bryan Berard Ottawa 1st Round 1st Overall
Sergei Fedotov Hartford 2nd Round 35th Overall
Nic Beaudoin Colorado 2nd Round 51st Overall
Bill McCauley Boston 3rd Round 73rd Overall
Mike Minard (Chilliwack) Edmonton 4th Round 83rd Overall
Andrew Taylor NY Islanders 7th Round 158th Overall
Milan Kostolny Hartford 8th Round 191st Overall
Miki Ruinski Hartford 9th Round 217th Overall
Lee Jinman (North Bay) Dallas 2nd Round 46th Overall
Sean Haggerty Toronto 2nd Round 48th Overall
Corey Neilson (North Bay) Edmonton 3rd Round 53rd Overall
Tom Buckley Hartford 8th Round 187th Overall
Matt Ball Hartford 9th Round 230th Overall
Todd Harvey Dallas 1st Round 9th Overall
Jamie Allison Calgary 2nd Round 44th Overall
Eric Manlow (Kitchener) Chicago 2nd Round 50th Overall
Kevin Paden Edmonton 3rd Round 59th Overall
Jeff Mitchell Los Angeles 3rd Round 68th Overall
Bill McCauley Florida 4th Round 83rd Overall
Bob Wren Los Angeles 4th Round 94th Overall
Jason Saal Los Angeles 5th Round 117th Overall
Eric Cairns NY Rangers 3rd Round 72nd Overall
Kevin Brown (Belleville) Los Angeles 4th Round 87th Overall
Gerry Skypec (Ottawa) Chicago 6th Round 137th Overall
Derek Wilkinson Tampa Bay 7th Round 145th Overall
Aaron Ellis (Culver Military) Quebec 11th Round 224th Overall
Pat Peake Washington 1st Round 14th Overall
Keith Redmond (Bowling Green) Los Angeles 4th Round 79th Overall
Mark Lawrence Minnesota 6th Round 118th Overall