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10 biggest first-round busts in Penguins history

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This year’s NHL draft is approaching this weekend, so it might be a good time to take a look through the Penguins’ draft history — specifically the first round — and see where they might want a do-over. Here are the Penguins’ top 10 biggest first-round busts, including three who never played in the NHL:

JG PENS 29 02.jpg

Center Angelo Esposito (2007, 20th overall)

0 NHL games

Could have drafted: Left wing Max Pacioretty (22nd overall); defenseman P.K. Subban (43rd overall)

Notable: Dealt to Thrashers in deal that netted Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.

Robert Dome

Right wing Robert Dome (1997, 17th overall)

7 goals, 7 assists in 53 NHL games (52 with Pens)

Could have drafted: Left wing Brenden Morrow (25th overall); defenseman Brian Campbell (156th overall)

CraigHillier

Goaltender Craig Hillier (1996, 23rd overall)

0 NHL games

Could have drafted: Center Daniel Briere (24th overall); defenseman Zdeno Chara (56th overall); right wing Craig Adams (223rd overall)

Defenseman Stefan Bergkvist (1993, 26th overall)

0 goals, 0 assists in 7 NHL games (all with Pens)

Could have drafted: Center Brendan Morrison (39th overall); defenseman Kimmo Timonen (250th overall)

ZalapskiZarley_004

Defenseman Zarley Zalapski (1986, fourth overall)

99 goals, 285 assists in 637 NHL games (190 with Pens)

Could have drafted: Defenseman Brian Leetch (9th overall); left wing Adam Graves (22nd overall)

Notable: Dealt to Hartford Whalers in deal that netted Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and, ultimately, the 1991 and ’92 Stanley Cups.

Center Roger Belanger (1984, 16th overall)

3 goals, 5 assists in 44 NHL games (all with Pens)

Could have drafted: Goaltender Patrick Roy (51st overall); right wing Brett Hull (117th overall); left wing Luc Robitaille (171st overall)

Right wing Blair Chapman (1976, 2nd overall)

106 goals, 125 assists in 402 NHL games (227 with Pens)

Could have drafted: Bernie Federko (7th overall); defenseman Randy Carlyle (30th overall)

Goaltender Gord Laxton (1975, 13th overall)

4 wins, 9 losses in 17 NHL games (all with Pens)

Could have drafted: forward Tim Young (16th overall); right wing Dave Taylor (210th overall)

Center Garry Swain (1968, fourth overall)

1 goal, 1 assist in 9 NHL games (all with Pens)

Could have drafted: Left wing John Marks (ninth overall); left wing Curt Bennett (16th overall)

Goaltender Steve Rexe (1967, second overall)

0 NHL games

Notable: To be fair, only one of the 10 first-round picks in this draft — the Flyers’ Serge Bernier — ever played in the NHL

 

Photo credits: Jasmine Goldband: Angelo Esposito; Tribune-Review file: Robert Dome; Penguins: Zarley Zalapski; AP: Craig Hillier; legendsofhockey.net: Stefan Bergkvist; gamewornauctions.net: Roger Belanger; penguins-hockey-cards.com: Blair Chapman; goaliesarchive.com: Gord Laxton; hockeydb.com: Garry Swain; benchedathletes.files.wordpress.com: Steve Rexe

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