A list of players from the Pittsburgh area that have played in at least one NHL game:
A total of 13 players from Pittsburgh area have made it to the NHL and there are a handful of players that have been drafted by NHL teams.
Ryan Malone was the first Pittsburgh-born player to play with the Penguins.
On November 19, 2005, Philadelphia Flyers player and Plum native, RJ Umberger and Malone played in a game in Pittsburgh - the first time two natives met on Mellon Arena ice. The two had 13 head-to-head matches on the "home" ice, including three games in the 2008 Eastern Conference Final.
Peggy & Greg Malone with two-week old Ryan
On January 16, 2009, Anaheim Ducks' George Parros and Pittsburgh's Bill Thomas became the second set of Pittsburgh's area natives to pair off on Mellon Arena ice. The first native son duo to play on "home" ice were Ryan Malone and R.J. Umberger.
Here is a list of Pittsburgh players in the order of their NHL debuts:
Born: May 10, 1925 (Braeburn, PA - Westmoreland County)
Began career as a defenseman with the Hershey Bears in 1946
NHL Debut: October 19, 1947 with Boston Bruins
First game against Pittsburgh: Played the Hornets at Duquesne Garden on November 15, 1946.
Switched position to left wing after leaving Hershey. Scored his first NHL goal in his second game, on October 22, 1947, against the Montreal Canadiens. Babando finished his rookie season with 23 goals and finished second in Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) contest.
Babando was traded to the Detroit Red Wings on August 16, 1949 and was teammates with Sid Abel (Pittsburgh Hornets 1938-39), Red Kelly (Pittsburgh Penguins coach July 1969 through January 1973), Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay. Also played alongside Jack Stewart (played with Hornets from 1937-39) and Johnny Wilson (Penguins coach from June 1973 through May of 1980).
Babando scored the championship-clinching goal in double overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in 1950.
Played on four of the original six teams in six years in the NHL and played in the minor leagues for four different teams until he reitred at the end of the 1966-67 season.
Born: August 31, 1950 (Pittsburgh)
Drafted: 1970 - 3rd round, Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL Debut: December 25, 1971 with Toronto v. Detroit
First game against Pittsburgh: October 24, 1972 / Pittsburgh at Vancouver
Born in Pittsburgh, where his father John "Peanuts" captained the Pittsburgh Hornets, O'Flaherty later moved to Toronto and played in the MTHL with the North York Rangers. He played junior with the OHA's Kitchener Rangers and was drafted 36th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs after scoring 40 goals in 1969-70.
On Christmas day in 1971 he made his NHL Debut with Toronto in and played two games with the Maple Leafs. He was left unprotected by Toronto in the intra-league draft in 1972 and was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks on the recommendation of his father, who was a scout for the club.
Left-winger Gerry O'Flaherty had a reputation for being a solid two-way player.
O'Flaherty played 438 games in the 1970s. He recorded three 20-goal seasons and was considered an above-average faceoff man.
In September 1976 O'Flaherty was picked to represent the United States at the inaugural Canada Cup. After leaving Vancouver, he played one more NHL game with the Atlanta Flames in 1978-79 but spent the rest of that season in the minors before retiring.
Born: May 20, 1967 (Pittsburgh)
Drafted: 1985 - 10th round, Boston Bruins
NHL Debut: March 11, 1990 with Boston v. Hartford
First game against Pittsburgh: November 5, 1991 / Boston at Pittsburgh
Made NHL debut with the Boston Bruins in 1989-90. Played with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, & New York Islanders
Drafted: 1999 - 4th round, Pittsburgh Penguins on June 26
NHL Debut: October 10, 2003 with Pittsburgh v. Los Angeles
First game against Pittsburgh: December 23, 2008 / Tampa at Pittsburgh
Made his NHL debut with the Penguins 2003-04
The fourth round, 115th overall selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Malone, the son of former Penguins center Greg, is a graduate of St. Cloud State University.
Prior to attending St. Cloud State, Malone played high school hockey locally at Upper St. Clair High School and then went on to play at Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota and finally Omaha of the USHL. In his four years at St. Cloud State, Malone recorded 140 points (56-84-140) before joining the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins following his Senior year in 2002-03.
In 2003-04, the Pittsburgh, PA native made his NHL debut and was the teams most impressive and consistent player throughout the year. Named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team, Malone finished the season with 43 points (22-21-43), good enough for third on the Penguins and fourth among league freshmen. Following the Penguins season, Malone was named to the United States 2004 World Championship team, and was instrumental in leading the U.S. to a bronze medal.
In June 2008, Malone's rights were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He later signed a seven-year, $31.5 milion contract with the Lighnting.
On January 1, 2010 Malone was selected to play for the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team and on February 16, 2010 Malone became the first Pittsburgh native to score a goal in the Olympics. Malone finished the tournament with three goals and two assists.
Born: May 3, 1982 (Plum, PA)
Drafted: 2001 - 1st round, Vancouver Canucks
NHL Debut: October 30, 2005 with Philadelphia v. Ottawa
First game against Pittsburgh: November 16, 2005 / Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
The first round, 16th overall selection of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Umberger is a graduate of the CCHA's Ohio State Buckeyes.
An offensively gifted forward, Umberger played three seasons at Ohio State registering 129 points (58-71-129) and earning numerous accolades including; CCHA Rookie of the Year (2001), West Second Team All-America (2003), All-CCHA First Team (2003) and finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
After foregoing his senior year at OSU to spend part of the year training with the U.S. National Development Program, Umberger was acquired by the New York Rangers in March of 2004 yet was unable to reach a contract agreement with the club and subsequently was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers.
In his first season with the Flyers organization, Umberger suited for the AHLs Philadelphia Phantoms and was instrumental in helping the club capture the 2005 Calder Cup title. In 80 regular season games with the Phantoms, the former OSU star registered 65 points (21-44-65) and another ten points in the post season.
After getting off to a quick start with the Phantoms in 2005-06, Umberger was summoned by the Flyers and would make his NHL debut with the club in the early stages of the season.
On the international stage, Umberger is a two-time member of the United States World Junior team (2001 and 2002) and was a member of its World Championship team in 2006
In June 2008, Umberger was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Born: December 29, 1979 (Washington, PA)
Drafted: 1999 - 8th round, Los Angeles Kings
NHL Debut: December 21, 2005 with Los Angeles v. Calgary
First game against Pittsburgh: (January 16, 2009)
Made his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings in 2005-06 and played with the Colorado Avalanche for two games.
The eighth round, 222nd overall selection of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Parros is a graduate of the ECAC's Princeton Tigers.
A towering forward, Parros spent four years at Princeton before making his professional debut with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs in the spring of 2003. After two more years of seasoning in the ECHL and AHL, Parros made his NHL debut with Los Angeles during the 2005-06 season.
In November of 2006, Parros was acquired by the Anaheim Ducks and was a member of the Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup Championship Team.
On January 16, 2008, Parros and Pittsburgh's Bill Thomas became the second set of Pittsburgh's area natives to pair off on Mellon Arena ice. The first native son duo to play on "home" ice were Ryan Malone and R.J. Umberger.
First game against Pittsburgh: Played his first game with the Penguins on October 5, 2008. Played his first game against the Penguins on November 22, 2010 as a member of the Florida Panthers.
A free-agent signing of the Phoenix Coyotes, Thomas is a graduate of the USHL's Tri-City Storm and went on to play two seasons of collegiate hockey with the University of Nebraska-Omaha (2004-2006).
A skilled forward, Thomas registered 95 points (46-49-95) in two seasons at Nebraska-Omaha before opting to forego his junior and senior years and sign as a free-agent with Phoenix following his sophomore year.
Once his sophomore season came to a close in 2005-06, Thomas immediately joined the Coyotes and suited for nine games registering three points (1-2-3).
Thomas signed with the Penguins as a free agent in July 2008 and scored his first goal for the Pens on February 11, 2009 against the San Jose Sharks.
NHL Debut: January 18, 2007 with Philadelphia v. NY Islanders
First game against Pittsburgh: Never played against the Penguins, made his debut with the Pens on November 16, 2009 (Anahiem)
Made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006-07, playing in 65 games. The New York Rangers fourth round, 127th overall choice in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Guenin is a graduate of the CCHA's Ohio State University Buckeyes.
A rugged defenceman, Guenin spent four seasons at Ohio State serving as the club's captain for the 2004-05 season. Despite being drafted by the Rangers, the free agent signed his first pro contract with the Flyers and shortly after suited up with their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. That season, he made his NHL and Flyer debut in a January 18th, 2007 game against the New York Islanders.
Guenin was signed by the Penguins as an unrestricted free agent on July 3, 2009.
On November 16, 2009, Guenin and George Parros became the third set of Pittsburgh's area natives to pair off on Mellon Arena ice. The first native son duo to play on "home" ice were Ryan Malone and R.J. Umberger. Parros and Pittsburgh's Bill Thomas were the second set.
Guenin was traded to St. Louis for defenseman Steve Wagner on February 11, 2010.
Born: November 21, 1982
Drafted: 2002 - 5th round, Phoenix Coyotes
NHL Debut: February 17, 2007 with Phoenix v. Anaheim
First game against Pittsburgh: (Never played against the Penguins)
Selected 132nd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, Zeiler is a graduate of the St. Lawrence University Saints.
A strong player at both ends of the rink, Zeiler's strong performance with the Sioux-City Musketeers of the USHL transited into a four-year stint with the St. Lawrence University Saints. In his first with the University, he was named to the ECAC All Rookie Team after tallying 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists). Zeiler made his professional hockey debut with the Coyotes' AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage in March, 2006.
Following a brief stint in San Antonio, Zeiler was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Los Angeles Kings in the summer of 2006. Returning to the AHL Zeiler tallied 28 goals in 56 games for the Kings' AHL affiliate in Manchester. His offensive contributions in Manchester earned him a roster spot in the final 23 regular season games left on the L.A. Kings 2006-07 schedule.
Born: December 16, 1987 (Pittsburgh, PA)
Drafted: 2006 - 2nd round, Phoenix Coyotes
NHL Debut: October 26, 2007 with Buffalo Sabres
First game against Pittsburgh: At the Mellon Arena, on March 12, 2008
The 6'2" 199-pound defenseman played Junior with the Windsor Spitfires and Barrie Colts in OHL and played 16 games his rookie year with Buffalo and registered his first NHL assist against the Penguins on March 12, 2008.
Finished his four-year OHL career with 70 points (13+57) and 534 PIM in 261 games with career highs in goals (6), assists (28) and points (34) along with 172 PIM in 60 combined games with Windsor and Barrie... Contributed six points (0+6) in seven post-season games.
Described as a “physical, defensive defenseman” by the Buffalo Sabres management and is currently in the Buffalo Sabres system with the Rochester Americans.
Born: January 20, 1985 (Pittsburgh, PA)
Drafted: 2004 - 2nd round, Atlanta Thrashers
NHL Debut: March 3, 2009 with Atlanta
First game against Pittsburgh: has never played against Pittsburgh.
Lewis recorded 15 points (one goal, 14 assists) and 30 penalty minutes in 24 games with Dartmouth College (ECAC). The 6-3, 205-pound defenseman shared first among ECAC defensemen in assists and was tied for sixth in points.
Lewis tallied 77 points (13 goals, 64 assists) and 172 penalty minutes in 120 career games with Dartmouth. He was named to the ECAC First All-Star Team and ECAC All-Rookie Team during his freshman year in 2004. He was also selected to the ECAC Second All-Star Team in 2006.
Prior to his time at Dartmouth, Lewis spent one season of junior hockey with the Pittsburgh Forge (NAHL), tallying nine points (two goals, seven assists) and 59 penalty minutes in 50 games.
Born: March 10, 1986 (Venetia, PA)
Drafted: Undrafted, Signed by Toronto Maple Leafs on March 31, 2009
NHL Debut: April 3, 2009
First game against Pittsburgh: Played his first game against the Penguins on March 28, 2010, when the Maple Leafs visited the Mellon Arena for the last time. Hanson saw 9:38 of ice time and picked up a minor penalty for delay of game.
Hanson, a center, registered 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) with 28 penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 37 games with Notre Dame in the CCHA. His college career started slowly, with 11 points his first two seasons, but this season he was third on the team with 31 points and tied for second with 16 goals.
His father, Dave, gained more fame as one of the Hanson Brothers in the classic move Slap Shot. But Dave Hanson also had a pro hockey career that spanned 10 seasons (1974-84), and included some time in the NHL and the WHA, in which he amassed 562 penalty minutes in 136 major-league games. Christian Hanson, comparatively, never recorded more than 57 penalty minutes in any of his six junior or collegiate seasons.
Hanson scored his first NHL goal against New Jersey's Martin Brodeur on April 7, 2009.
Born: August 29, 1984 (Upper St. Clair, PA)
Drafted: 2003 - 7th round, New York Rangers
NHL Debut: March 4, 2010 v. Atlanta
First game against Pittsburgh: Had 12:42 ice time in the Mellon Arena's regular season finale when the Islanders visited on April 8, 2010.
Reese, a defenseman, played for the Pittsburgh Hornets (MWEHL) before joining the Pittsburgh Forge (NAHL) in 2001. Reese helped the Forge set a National Junior A record with 43 wins and win the Robertson Cup, the NAHL's championship, in 2002-03.
In 2003, Reese was selected NAHL's first All-Star Team and was named the NAHL Defenseman of the Year.
Before turning pro, Reese played three seasons at Harvard University (2003-2007) where he was twice named to the ECAC second all-star team and was as an All-Academic honoree.
He spent part of five seasons in the AHL with the Hartford Wolfpack, San Antonio Rampage, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and started the 2009-10 campaign with the Syracuse Crunch, where he registered 22 points (4G+18A) in 51 games.
Reese signed as a free agent with Columbus Blue Jackets in September 29, 2009 and was traded to the New York Islanders on March 1, 2010.
Scored the first goal of his NHL career on March 16, 2010 against the Vancouver Canucks.
Born: June 4, 1988 (Mt. Lebanon, PA)
Drafted: 2008 - 7th round, 190th overall by Florida Panthers
NHL Debut: January 10, 2011 v. Pittsburgh
First game against Pittsburgh: Played 9:53 on Janaury 10, 2011. Joins Ryan Malone as the only other Pittsburgh native to make debut in hometown.
Bartkowski, a defenseman played high school hockey at Mt. Lebanon and helped the Blue Devils win the Penguins Cup in 2006.
He played for the Lincoln Stars (USHL) for two years before heading to Ohio State University for two seasons.
On March 3, 2010, the Panthers traded Bartkowski, along with Dennis Seidenberg, to the Boston Bruins for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller, and a 2nd round 2010 NHL Entry Draft choice.
On April 29, 2010, Bartkowski signed to a two-year contract with the Boston Bruins.
This is unreal. I still have to pinch myself, I can't believe I am on MY team.
The first Pittsburgh-born player to play for the Penguins.
• Before 1984 the arrival of Mario Lemiuex Pittsburgh had 18 sheets of ice for organized hockey. Today there are over 50.
• 14 native Pittsburghers have played in, or are currently in NHL team systems.
• On October 24, 1972 Pittsburgh native Gerry O'Flaherty became the first local to play against the Penguins.
• Pittsburgh native Jamie Adams was the first person to play professional hockey for his hometown team when he skated for the the Pittsburgh Phantoms in 1994.
• Ryan Malone was the first Pittsburgher to play for the Penguins. (2003).
• Philadelphia Flyers player and Plum native, RJ Umberger and Ryan Malone squared off on Mellon Arena in an NHL game on November 19, 2005. The two native sons played 13 games on "home' ice.
• Bill Thomas signed with the Pens in July 2008 and scored his first goal with Pittsburgh on February 11, 2009 against the San Jose Sharks.
• Nate Guenin played his first game for the Penguins on November 16, 2009.
• Matt Bartkowski made his NHL debut against the Penguins on January 11, 2011.
With St.Cloud State
With Pittsburgh East
With Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Team
With Cleveland Barons Junior
With Pittsburgh Forge
With Pittsburgh Forge
Happing now in Western Pennsylvania
Who's your Daddy?
This is the father of Pittsburgh hockey, James Conant, the man who introduced hockey to the Steel City