Swiss defenseman Luca Sbisa was the Flyers' first round pick (19th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft. He was born on Jan. 30, 1990 in Ozieri, Italy and raised in Oberageri, Switzerland. The future NHL player, who learned in Switzerland to speak four languages (Italian, French, German and English), came to North America in 2007 to play junior hockey for the Western Hockey League's Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Sbisa made the immediate jump to the NHL after he was drafted. He spent the majority of the 2008-09 season in the NHL with the Flyers before being returned to his junior team in the latter part of the season. Sbisa played in 39 regular season games (zero goals, seven assists, 36 penalty minutes) and one Stanley Cup playoff game. In several games during his rookie campaign, including his lone playoff appearance, Sbisa played as a forward rather than as a defenseman.
After the 2008-09 season, Sbisa was part of the blockbuster trade package with the Anaheim Ducks during the 2009 NHL Draft weekend that brought veteran superstar defenseman Chris Pronger to Philadelphia.