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Caps Draft History: 1991 Entry Draft

Although each of Washington's top five choices reached the NHL, only third-rounder Steve Konowalchuk (58th) went on to achieve lasting success in the league.

by Washington Capitals @Capitals /

For the first time in more than a decade, rounds in the NHL Entry Draft contained more than 21 choices. With the addition of the expansion San Jose Sharks, there were 22 teams on the draft floor in 1991.

History shows the class of 1991 was a talented one. Twenty-nine of the first 30 players drafted reached the NHL, an each of the first six rounds produced multiple players whose careers spanned 700 or more games in the league. Eric Lindros went first overall to Quebec, sparking a controversy that led to the center later being involved in a controversial trade with the Flyers.

The first round also included Scott Niedermayer (third), Peter Forsberg (sixth), Marty Lapointe (10th), Brian Rolston (11th), Alexei Kovalev (15th), Markus Naslund (16th), Glen Murray (18th) and Martin Rucinsky (20th).

Later rounds produced stalwarts such as Ray Whitney (23rd), Ziggy Palffy (26th), Steve Staios (27th), Sandis Ozolinsh (30th), Jozef Stumpel (40th), Yanic Perreault (47th), Chris Osgood (54th), Michael Nylander (59th), Mike Knuble (76th), Alexei Zhitnik (81st), Sean O'Donnell (123rd), Brian Savage (171st) and Igor Ulanov (203rd).

By virtue of its decision not to match the St. Louis Blues' free agent offer sheet to defenseman Scott Stevens, Washington received the Blues' first-round selection for each of the next five drafts, beginning in 1991. The Caps used the first of those five choices on rugged winger Trevor Halverson. A concussion cut Halverson's NHL career to just 17 games.

Although each of Washington's top five choices reached the NHL, only third-rounder Steve Konowalchuk (58th) went on to achieve lasting success in the league.

Hindsight is 20/20: Sure, Kovalev and Naslund were taken with the picks immediately following Peake. But Peake was well on his way to a good career of his own before injuries intervened. Grabbing Staios at 25 would have been a great pick, but it's easy to say that now.



Pat Peake
Injuries limited talented forward to just 134 NHL games and forced his retirement at age 25.


Trevor Halverson
Was coming off his best minor league season when a preseason concussion ended his career at age 28. Played 17 NHL games.


Eric Lavigne
Played one NHL game with Kings during a seven-year pro career. Later played in Europe and still skates in Quebec Sr. League.


Jeff Nelson
Prolific scorer in AHL but only three goals and 11 points in 52 NHL games. Spent a year in Italy and played in IHL as recently as 2007-08.


Steve Konowalchuk
Played 790 NHL games and captained the Caps for a spell. His NHL career came to a premature end because of a heart condition in 2006.


Justin Morrison
Played pro for parts of nine seasons but never ascended as high as the AHL.


Dave Morissette
Played 11 NHL games during a 10-year pro career and later played briefly in Britain.
Rick Corriveau
Younger brother of 1985 Caps first-rounder Yvon Corriveau. Played four seasons in the ECHL.
Trevor Duhaime
Played one pro season after playing his junior hockey in QMJHL.
Rob Leask
Played five seasons pro and one with Canadian Nat'l team. Played last 12 seasons in Germany, through 2007-08.
212 Carl LeBlanc D Played 10 seasons as a pro in six different North American leagues. Also played in Roller Hockey International. 
234 Rob Puchniak D  Never played pro.
256 Bill Kovacs LW Played parts of three pro seasons. 

Full Draft Results Here

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