Pittsburgh Penguins History: Revisiting the 1987 Draft Class

Pittsburgh Penguins, Shawn McEachern. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Pittsburgh Penguins, Shawn McEachern. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /

A look back at the players the Pittsburgh Penguins took in the 1987 Draft.

This is the next installment in our series “Pens Draft Class Rehash” where we 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 1987 Draft Class.

First the specifics of the picks.

The Penguins took 12 players in the draft, eight forwards, two defensemen, and two goalies with Three of twelve players or 25 percent of the picks played for the Penguins.

Chris Joesph

Joesph was selected with the 5th pick in the draft and made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 1987, and earned four points in 17 games before being traded to Edmonton, as one of the pieces of the deal that brought Paul Coffey to Pittsburgh on Nov. 24, 1987.

The Penguins brought Joesph back to the organization on Jan. 18, 1995, when they claimed him in the expansion draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In Joesph’s second tenure with the club from 1995-96, he scored 10 goals and 34 points in 103 regular-season games and two goals and three points in 25 playoff games.

‘On Sept. 30, 1996, Joesph joined the Vancouver Canucks, when the team selected him in the waiver draft.

Rick Tabaracci

The Penguins selected Tabaracci with the 26th pick in the second round of the draft. Tabaracci made his NHL debut and played his only game with the Penguins on Oct. 21, 1988, vs. the New Jersey Devils.

Tabaracci allowed four goals on 21 shots and finished with a goals-against-average of 7.25.

On Jun. 17, 1989, Tabaracci was traded to the Winnipeg Jets, and he would appear in 286 games over his 11-year career, earning a record of 93-125-30 with a GAA of 3.00.

More from Draft

Jamie Leach

Leach was selected by the Penguins 47th overall and shares some “legendary” lineage with a player that should find his way to hockey of hall of fame one day.

Jamie’s father Reggie is one of the most prolific NHL players to come from Manitoba and scored 381 goals and 666 points in 934 games.

Reggie also captured a Stanley Cup with the Philidelphia Flyers in 1975 and earned the Bill Masterson Trophy and All-Star honors in 1975-76.

Jamie Leach’s NHL debut was on Nov. 14, 1989, and he earned points in his first two games of action.

Leach scored his first NHL goal on Mar. 12, 1991, and overall he appeared in 60 games with the Penguins and scored seven goals and 14 points.

In 1992, Jamie brought another Cup to the Leach family, and together with Reggie, they became the first Indigenous father/son duo to hoist the Cup in NHL history.

Shawn McEachern

McEachern was selected with the 110th pick (6th round) and made his NHL debut on Mar. 3, 1992 and finished his rookie season with four points in 15 regular-season games.

During the1992 playoffs, McEachern registered his first career goal (Mar. 3, 1992) and scored two goals and nine points in 19 games, as the Penguins claimed their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

The 1993-94 season found McEachern part of two trades.

On Aug. 27, 1993, McEachern was traded to Los Angles Kings for Marty McSorley, and then on Feb 16, 1994, McEachern was traded back to the Penguins with Tomas Sandstrom from the Kings for McSorley and Jim Paek.

McEachern played 170 regular-season games over four years with the Penguins and scored 53 goals and 112 points and 48 postseason appearances McEachern scored six goals and 17 points.

Here a few other players drafted in 1995 that would eventually find themselves members of the Pittsburgh Penguins: John LeClair (33rd), Brad Werenka (42nd), Mike Sullivan (69th), Kip Miller (72), Mike Eastwood (91), Garry Valk (108th), Garth Snow (114).