Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Players from Western Pennsylvania

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
After two seasons with Ohio State University, Mount Lebanon native Matt Bartkowski made his NHL debut against the Penguins, his hometown team, on Jan. 10 at CONSOL Energy Center. That game was one of six total contests Bartkowski would play with the Boston Bruins last season, spending the majority of the 2010-11 campaign with their top affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Although Bartkowski did not play in the 41 games required to get his name etched on the Stanley Cup, he was a member of Boston's expanded playoff roster and took part in their on-ice celebration.

   Bob Beers saw action along the blue line for the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders from 1989-96, posting 28 goals and 79 assists in 258 career games. Beers, who currently provides radio commentary for the Bruins, suited up for Boston during their run of three straight conference finals appearances between 1990-92.
Defenseman Nate Guenin has seen action with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins following a successful four-year career at Ohio State University. The Sewickley, Pa. native played two games with the Penguins during the 2009-10 season and also spent time with their top minor-league affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He finished the 2010-11 season with Columbus' top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.
Upper St. Clair native Grant Lewis was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft following a four-year college career at Dartmouth. Lewis, who finished the 2010-11 season with the Nashville Predators' top affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, made his NHL debut with the Thrashers during the 2008-09 season.
Upper St. Clair native Ryan Malone became the first Pittsburgh born and trained player to reach the NHL when he debuted with the Penguins in 2003. Arguably the heart and soul of the Penguins' run to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, Malone tallied 87 goals and 82 assists in 299 regular-season games with the Penguins between 2003-08. He added 16 points (6G-10A) in 25 postseason contests. Malone won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and helped Tampa Bay reach the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2011 postseason.
Gerry O'Flaherty spent eight years in the National Hockey League skating for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames. O'Flaherty was born in Pittsburgh while his father, John, skated for the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League during the 1950s. O'Flaherty had three straight 20-goal seasons between 1973-76.
George Parros has forged out a nice career for himself as an enforcer for the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks since the 2005-06 campaign. Parros, who hails from Washington, Pa., won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2006. He has posted over 100 penalty minutes in each of his six full NHL seasons.
The third Upper St. Clair native on this list, Reese made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 campaign, registering four points (2G-2A) in 19 games with the New York Islanders. The 6-foot, 195-pound blueliner dressed for the Islanders on April 8 against the Penguins in the final regular-season contest at Mellon Arena. Reese played for the Pittsburgh Hornets and Pittsburgh Forge as an amateur.
Fox Chapel’s Bill Thomas is one of three players from the Tri-State region to suit up for the Penguins. Thomas appeared in 16 games with Pittsburgh during the 2008-09 season, picking up three points (2G-1A) in 16 games. In 56 career games with the Penguins, Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers, Thomas has 15 goals and 27 points in 80 games.
Former Plum Mustang R.J. Umberger became the highest-drafted Western Pennsylvanian when he was selected 16th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. In six NHL seasons the big center has reached the 20-goal mark four times and has surpassed 50 points three times, including a career-high 57 (25G-32A) in 2010-11 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Umberger has 14 career postseason goals in 26 games with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.
Defenseman Mike Weber spent his youth playing for the Pittsburgh Junior B Penguins before embarking on a four-year career in the Ontario Hockey League with Windsor and Barrie. Weber was drafted in the second round (57th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. The blueliner played in 58 games for Buffalo during the 2010-11 campaign, posting 17 points (4G-13A) and an impressive plus-13 rating.
Former Pittsburgh Hornet John Zeiler, who grew up in Jefferson Hills, Pa., has appeared in 90-career NHL games as a member of the Los Angeles Kings organization. He was originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the fifth round (132nd overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Michelle Crechiolo contributed to this article.

View More