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NHL Draft

1990 Redraft: Jagr replaces Nolan at No. 1

Forward rises four spots, wing falls to 8th; Brodeur, Tkachuk enter top five

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

NHL Now: 1990 NHL Draft

Re-drafting the top 5 players from the 1990 NHL Draft

The crew evaluates the 1990 NHL Draft held in Vancouver and re-drafts the top 5 picks as both agree that Jaromir Jagr would be their first pick

  • 06:33 • will take a look back at some NHL drafts from the past this week, leading to the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The first round is Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS); Rounds 2-7 is Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN).

How would a redo of those drafts look today?

Jaromir Jagr knew going into the 1990 NHL Draft at BC Place in Vancouver that he wanted to play with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jagr, a forward with Kladno in his native Czechoslovakia, was considered one of the best players available and there were doubts he would be available for the Penguins, who had the No. 5 pick. Russ Farwell, the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, who were picking fourth, said Jagr was the No. 1 player on their list.


[RELATED: Complete NHL Draft coverage]


But Jagr didn't want to play for the Flyers, or the Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks or Detroit Red Wings, who had the first three picks. And he used the bit of leverage he had to get where he wanted.

"I found out years later when he was interviewed by teams ahead of us he told them all he wasn't coming over (to the NHL) right away," Craig Patrick, the Penguins GM at the time, said in a 2016 interview. "We asked him that question he said I'll be here tomorrow if you draft me. I think the other teams backed off because of that, the teams ahead of us. We were happy he was there. We were surprised he was there."

Jagr went on to become one of the legends in the game. But not every player picked that weekend in Vancouver, the first time the draft was held on Canada's west coast, has reached that lofty status. So with 29 years of hindsight, how would that draft go if the same players were made available today?

Note: Players listed with current teams; original draft position in parenthesis.


1. Jaromir Jagr, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (5)

Of the 7,077 skaters to play at least one NHL game, only Wayne Gretzky (2,857) has more points than Jagr's 1,921 and two (Gretzky, 894; Gordie Howe, 801) scored more than Jagr's 766 goals in 24 seasons with nine teams. He won the Art Ross Trophy five times, had six 40-goal seasons, three with at least 50, and won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. He last played in the NHL with the Calgary Flames at age 45 in 2017-18, and still plays for Kladno, which he now owns. This season, at age 47, he had 13 points (10 goals, three assists) in 11 games to help Kladno win promotion to the top Czech league.

Video: Breaking down Jaromir Jagr's career thus far


2. Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils (20)

Brodeur holds NHL goaltending records for games played (1,266), wins (691), saves (28,928) and shutouts (125). He also is credited with two regular-season goals and one in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Brodeur won the Cup three times in 21 seasons with the Devils and had his final shutout at age 42 with the St. Louis Blues in 2014-15. He won the Vezina Trophy four times and finished second three times. Brodeur also won the Jennings Trophy five times, tied with Patrick Roy for most ever.


3. Keith Tkachuk, LW, Winnipeg Jets (19)

Tkachuk, who played 18 NHL seasons for the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes, Atlanta Thrashers and Blues, is second among United States-born NHL players with 538 goals and fourth with 1,065 points in 1,201 games. He had 10 seasons with at least 30 goals, including an NHL-leading 52 in 1996-97. He also scored 50 with the Jets in 1995-96 and is one of five U.S.-born players with multiple 50-goal seasons (Pat LaFontaine, John LeClair, Jeremy Roenick, Kevin Stevens).


4. Sergei Zubov, D, New York Rangers (85)

The fifth-round pick came to the NHL in 1992 and made an immediate impact, leading Rangers defensemen with eight goals in 49 games. The following season he led New York with 89 points (12 goals, 77 assists) and helped them win the Stanley Cup with 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 22 playoff games. He spent the bulk of his NHL career (12 of 16 seasons) with the Dallas Stars and helped them win the Cup in 1999. His 111 goals and 549 points are most by a defenseman in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history. His 619 assists are most in NHL history by a Russia-born defenseman and his 771 points are second.


5. Doug Weight, C, New York Rangers (34)

The second-round pick played 19 NHL seasons with six teams and is one of eight U.S.-born players with 1,000 points. He scored at least 20 goals six times, played in the NHL All-Star Game four times and won the King Clancy Trophy in 2011. His career highlight was helping the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006 and lifting it despite a separated right shoulder that kept him out of the final two games. Weight's 755 assists are second to Jagr (1,155) among players drafted in 1990 and his 1,033 points are third behind Jagr and Tkachuk.


6. Derian Hatcher, D, Minnesota North Stars (8)

He became the first U.S.-born player to captain a team to the Stanley Cup when the Stars won in 1999. Hatcher's physical style earned him 1,581 penalty minutes, sixth among players in his draft class. But he was productive offensively. In 16 NHL seasons he had at least 30 points five times, and his 80 goals and 331 points are third among defensemen drafted in 1990.


7. Peter Bondra, RW, Washington Capitals (156)

The eighth-round pick held most Capitals offensive records until Alex Ovechkin began smashing them. In 14 seasons with Washington, Bondra had 825 points (472 goals, 353 assists) in 961 games. His best season was 1997-98, when he tied for the NHL lead with 52 goals and helped the Capitals reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. Bondra finished his NHL career in 2006-07 after one season each with the Ottawa Senators, Thrashers and Chicago Blackhawks. His 503 goals were third among players drafted in 1990 and his 892 points were fourth.


8. Owen Nolan, RW, Quebec Nordiques (1)

Nolan was a productive power forward for six teams in 18 NHL seasons. He scored at least 30 goals six times and more than 40 twice. He played in the NHL All-Star Game five times, none more memorable than 1997, when he had a hat trick, including famously calling his shot on his third goal. Nolan played his final NHL game with the Minnesota Wild in 2009-10 and his 422 goals are fourth among players selected in 1990. Nolan's 1,200 games are sixth in his draft class and seventh among any player selected No. 1 in an NHL draft.


9. Vyacheslav Kozlov, LW, Detroit Red Wings (45)

The third-round pick emerged as a key member of the Russian Five the Red Wings used to win the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 1998. His combined 14 playoff goals tied Brendan Shanahan for second on the Red Wings behind Sergei Fedorov's 18 and his 27 points were tied for third. Kozlov spent 10 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Red Wings and played for the Buffalo Sabres and Thrashers. He had 11 20-goal seasons, topped by 36 in 1995-96. His 356 goals are fifth among players selected in 1990 and his 853 points are sixth.


10. Petr Nedved, C, Vancouver Canucks (2)

Nedved defected from his native Czechoslovakia and played 15 NHL seasons for seven teams. He scored at least 30 goals four times, topped by 45 goals and 99 points with the Penguins in 1995-96. His 310 goals are seventh among players from the 1990 draft.


11. Alexei Zhamnov, C, Winnipeg Jets (77)

The fourth-round pick scored at least 20 goals in each of his first eight NHL seasons with the Jets and Blackhawks. Zhamnov never reached the Stanley Cup Final, but he had 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 18 games to help the Philadelphia Flyers advance to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2004. His 719 points (249 goals, 470 assists) in 13 NHL seasons are eighth among players picked in 1990.


12. Robert Lang, C, Los Angeles Kings (133)

After spending six seasons with the Kings and Boston Bruins followed by a season in his native Czechoslovakia, the seventh-round pick saw his career take off when he was claimed off waivers by the Penguins on Oct. 25, 1997. He scored at least 20 goals seven times in nine seasons between 1998-99 and 2007-08 with the Penguins, Capitals, Red Wings and Blackhawks. His 703 points (261 goals, 442 assists) are 10th among players in the 1990 draft class.


13. Darryl Sydor, D, Los Angeles Kings (7)

Sydor had his best NHL seasons with the Stars, reaching double-figures in goals three times in eight seasons. His finest was 1998-99, when he had 48 points (14 goals, 34 assists) in 82 regular-season games and 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 23 playoff games to help Dallas win the Stanley Cup. He won the Cup again with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. His 1,291 games are the most of any defenseman from the 1990 draft class, and he's second to Zubov among defensemen in goals (98), assists (409) and points (507).


14. Keith Primeau, C, Detroit Red Wings (3)

He is best remembered for major playoff moments with the Flyers. He scored in the fifth overtime against the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 4, 2000, ending the third-longest game in NHL history. Then in 2004, Primeau scored nine goals, including three game-winners, in 18 games to help the Flyers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. His 266 goals in 909 games with the Red Wings, Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes and Flyers are 10th among players from the 1990 draft.


15. Geoff Sanderson, LW, Hartford Whalers (36)

The second-round pick became a full-time NHL player in 1991-92 and scored at least 30 goals six times, including 46 in 1992-93. He was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the expansion draft and led them in their first season, 2000-01, with 30 goals and 56 points. He played 1,104 games in 17 seasons with seven NHL teams and his 355 goals are sixth among players selected in the 1990 draft.


16. Mike Ricci, C, Philadelphia Flyers (4)

Ricci played two seasons with the Flyers and then was traded to the Nordiques on June 30, 1992 as part of the package for Eric Lindros. He scored 20 goals twice in six seasons with the Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1996. His 1,099 games in 16 seasons with four teams is eighth among players in his draft class.


17. Felix Potvin, G, Toronto Maple Leafs (31)

The second-round pick had 25 wins, two shutouts and .910 save percentage as a rookie in 1992-93, finished third in voting for the Calder Trophy and helped the Maple Leafs reach the Campbell Conference Final with a .903 save percentage in 21 playoff games. He won at least 20 games seven times in 12 seasons with the Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, Canucks, Kings and Bruins. His 635 games played and 266 wins each are second to Brodeur among goalies selected in 1990.


18. Mikael Renberg, RW, Philadelphia Flyers (40)

The second-round pick led rookies in 1993-94 with 38 goals and 82 points and finished third in Calder Trophy voting. The next season he joined Lindros and John LeClair to form the Legion of Doom line, which helped the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Final in 1995 and Stanley Cup Final in 1997. He averaged 27 goals in his first four seasons but was traded to the Lightning after the 1997 Final. Persistent groin injuries never allowed Renberg to get back to his early-season levels and he finished his NHL career with 464 points (190 goals, 274 assists) in 661 games with four teams.


19. Bryan Smolinski, C, Boston Bruins (21)

Smolinski scored 31 goals in 1993-94, his first full NHL season, and at least 20 six times in 15 seasons with eight teams. His 274 goals are ninth among players picked in 1990.


20. Craig Conroy, C, Montreal Canadiens (123)

The sixth-round pick had his best seasons with the Flames, mostly as Jarome Iginla's center. He was second on the Flames with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) to help them reach the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. Conroy had three seasons with at least 20 goals and 50 points and finished his NHL career with 542 points (182 goals, 360 assists) in 1,009 games with four teams.


21. Sergei Nemchinov, LW, New York Rangers (244)

A 12th-round pick at age 26, Nemchinov joined the Rangers in 1991-92 at age 28, scored 30 goals and provided solid offensive depth when New York won the Stanley Cup in 1994. He also was a key penalty killer for the Devils when they won the Cup in 2000. He played until he was 38 in 2001-02 and had 345 points (152 goals, 193 assists) in 761 games.


Missing first-round picks: Scott Scissons, No. 6, New York Islanders; John Slaney, No. 9, Washington Capitals; Drake Berehowsky, No. 10, Toronto Maple Leafs; Trevor Kidd, No. 11, Calgary Flames; Turner Stevenson, No. 12, Montreal Canadiens; Michael Stewart, No. 13, New York Rangers; Brad May, No. 14, Buffalo Sabres; Mark Greig, No. 15, Hartford Whalers; Karl Dykhuis, No. 16, Chicago Blackhawks; Scott Allison, No. 17, Edmonton Oilers; Shawn Antoski, No. 18, Vancouver Canucks



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