The Pittsburgh Penguins have had success with later-round draft picks who have become contributors after playing college hockey and spending time in the minor leagues. One of them is Lafferty, a center from nearby Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. He arrived in the NHL in 2019-20 after the Penguins selected him in the fourth round (No. 113) of the 2014 NHL Draft, following his third season at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.
Lafferty played the next four seasons at Brown University before signing with Pittsburgh on March 7, 2018. He was assigned to Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the 2017-18 season and remained in the AHL in 2018-19, scoring 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) in 70 games.