Pittsburgh Penguins History: Revisiting the 1994 Draft Class

Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

A look back at the players the Pittsburgh Penguins took in the 1994 Draft.

This is the second post in our series “Pens Draft Class Rehash” where we will profile Pittsburgh Penguins draft choices by draft year that made the NHL.

We will be looking at the player’s time with Pittsburgh and try to dig up interesting facts and stats on the picks and recount interesting events that they may have been a part of.

Here is our rehash of the Pittsburgh Penguins 1994 Draft Class.

Chris Wells

The Penguins selected Wells with the 24th pick in the first round from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Wells made his NHL debut on Oct. 21, 1995, vs. Los Angeles and scored his first career goal, which was also a short-handed goal on Mar. 1, 1996, in Pittsburgh’s 5-4 win over Edmonton.

On Nov. 19, 1996, Wells was traded to the Florida Panthers for Stu Barnes and Jason Wolley.

Wells finished his time with Pittsburgh scoring two goals and four points in 54 games. Wells also put 14 total shots on goal and averaged 10 minutes and 20 seconds of ice time per game.

Richard Park

Park was selected 50th overall from the Bellville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and would prove to be the player with the most longevity in the NHL (738 games played over 14 seasons) of all the players the Penguins took in the draft.

Park’s first NHL game was on Mar. 3, 1995, vs. Florida and he collected his first NHL point after he earned an assist on Rusty Fitzgerald’s first career goal. Park also earned his first career penalty after he took a holding the stick call.

Park scored his first NHL goal and first multiple-point game in the Penguins 8-3 win in their season opener vs. Toronto on Oct. 7, 1995.

Park was traded to Anaheim for Roman Oksuita on Mar. 18. 1997, and finished his first stint with the Penguins with four goals and 11 points in 58 games played.

Park returned to the Penguins for a second go-round via free agency on Sept 8, 2011, and competed in 54 games over the course of the season and scored seven goals and 14 points.

Park also earned one point in six playoffs games with Pittsburgh and won 46% of the faceoffs he took.

More from History

Sven Butenschon

The Penguins selected Butenschon with the 57th pick (third round) from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL.

Butenschon appeared in 33 games with the Penguins from 1997-2001 earning one point and 14 penalty minutes.

Butenschon’s first NHL game occurred on Oct. 19, 1997, in the Penguins 4-1 win vs. Florida. Butenschon played 15 minutes and 35 seconds of ice time over 24 shifts.

While Butenschon was with the WBS Penguins he appeared in 130 games and scored 16 goals and 75 assists, and was named assistant captain (with John Slaney) of the team in 2000-01.

On Mar. 13, 2001, Butenschon was traded to Edmonton for Dan LaCouture.

Greg Crozier

Crozier was selected with the 73rd pick in the third round of the draft. Crozier would only play in one game for the Pittsburgh Penguins (Dec. 6, 2000) it was in his time with the Wilkes/Barre Scranton (WBS) Penguins of the AHL where he really made an impact.

On Nov. 13, 1999, Crozier scored the first goal in WBS history and lead the team to the Calder Cup finals in 2001 and earned an all-star appearance in the same year. In 148 regular-season games, Crozier scored 46 goals and 104 points, and in 21 GP during the 2001 playoffs, Crozier scored six goals and 11 points.

Crozier signed with the Boston Bruins on Aug. 8, 2001.

Here a few other players drafted in 1994 that would eventually find themselves members of the Pittsburgh Penguins: Dick Tarnstrom (272nd), Tomas Vokoun (226th), Johan Hedberg (218th), Nils Ekman (107th), and Wayne Primeau (17th).