1990 - 1st round - 5th overall
|Jaromir Jagr/Pittsburgh Penguins |
The speedy right winger from the Czech Republic burst onto the NHL scene as a rookie in 1990 after he was drafted fifth overall by the Penguins in 1990. Jagr finished his first year with 57 points (27G-30A), fourth among NHL rookies, and was named to the NHL All-Rookie team. During the Penguins’ Stanley Cup run in 1991, the longhaired rookie contributed 13 points (3G-10A) and scored key goals as the team captured its first Stanley Cup title.
After another year in which Jagr’s point totals improved (32G-37A-69P), the 20-year-old was thrust into the spotlight during the 1992 playoffs. After star center Mario Lemieux suffered a broken wrist during the second game of the Patrick Division finals against the New York Rangers, it was Jagr who came up clutch for the Penguins, scoring a game-winning goal on a penalty shot in Game 5 to help the Pens advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Jagr continued his strong play throughout the playoffs, scoring 24 points (11G-13A) and also chipping in four game-winning goals to help propel Pittsburgh to its second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.
Throughout the 90s, Jagr established himself as one of the premier scorers in the NHL. In 1995, Jagr became the first European-born player to win the Art Ross trophy (NHL scoring champion). Jagr, known for his patented “Salute” goal celebration, went on to set career highs in goals (62), assists (87) and points (149) in 1996. The 87 assists and 149 points remain an NHL record today for a right winger. A couple stellar years later, Jagr became the 12th player to don the “C” on a Penguins jersey, as he was named captain of the team in 1998.
Jagr would go on to play 11 seasons for Pittsburgh, winning two Stanley Cups, earning six-time All-Star berths, five Art Ross Trophies two Ted Lindsay awards (outstanding player as voted by peers) and was awarded the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) in 1999. Jagr also scored 1,079 points (439G-640A) in 806 games for the Pens.