Pittsburgh Penguins History: Revisiting the 1991 Draft Class

Pittsburgh Penguins, Markus Naslund. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Markus Naslund. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

A look back at the players the Pittsburgh Penguins took in the 1991 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 1991 Draft Class.

First the specifics of the picks.

The Penguins took 12 players in the draft, five forwards, six defensemen, and one goalie with three of 12 players selected (25 percent) playing for the Penguins.

Ed Patterson

Patterson was selected by the Penguins in the seventh round with the 148th pick.

Patterson joined the Cleveland Lumberjacks (IHL) for the 1992-93 season and scored four goals and 20 points in 63 games played (GP) and would finish his time with the Lumberjacks scoring 44 goals and 121 points in 216 GP.

Patterson made his NHL debut on Nov. 18, 1993, with the Penguins and scored his first goal on Jan. 7, 1994, in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 win over Buffalo.

In 68 GP with the Penguins from 1993-97, Patterson scored three goals and six points.

More from History

Rusty Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was selected with the 38th pick (second round) in the draft and made the jump to the Lumberjacks in 1994-95.

In three seasons with Cleveland, Fitzgerald scored 20 goals and 45 points in 82 GP. Fitzgerald made his NHL debut on Apr. 15, 1995, and scored his first goal on May 3, 1995.

In Oct. 1996, Fitzgerald suffered a nasty knee injury that sidelined him for all but six games of the the1996-97 season and the majority of the 1997-98 campaign.

Fitzgerald finished his time with the Penguins, scoring three goals and six points in 68 regular-season games and earned four penalty minutes in five playoff games in 1995.

Markus Naslund

Little did the Penguins know that when they selected Naslund with 16th pick in the draft that they chose a player that would develop into a three-time all-star with hall-of-fame potential.

Naslund made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1993, and scored his first career goal (power-play) on Nov. 19, 1993.

Naslund finished his rookie season with four goals and 11 points in 71 GP.

Naslund continued to hone his skills with Pittsburgh until the team traded him to the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 20, 1996, in exchange for Alex Stojanov, in what could be considered the most lopsided traded in Penguins history (more on that in a future article).

in 151 GP with the Penguins, Naslund scored 25 goals and 67 points.

Naslund’s career would run until the end of the 2008-09 season and he would finish with 869 points in 1117 GP.

Here is a rather lengthy list of players selected at the 1992 draft that would eventually find themselves a member of the Penguins at some point in their careers: Pat Fallon (2nd), Tyler Wright (12th), Philippe Boucher (13th), Alex Kovalev (15th), Glen Murray (18th), Rene Corbet (24th), Ziggy Palffy (26th), Jamie Pushor (32th), Sean Pronger (51st), Dan Kesa (95th), Janne Laukkanen (156th), Dmitri Mironov (160th).