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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

The 1991 Entry Draft - Part Two

This the second post featuring cards from players selected in the high rounds of the 1991 Entry Draft. You can read Part One here.

Card # 69 – Glen Murray

Murray was the 18th overall pick by the Bruins in the 1991 draft. The right winger had played for the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL, scoring 27 goals and 65 points in his draft season.

Between 1991-93 Murray would play 32 games in Boston, making the team as a regular in 1993-94, scoring 18 goals in 81 games. He would be traded to Pittsburgh, along with Bryan Smolinski, in the 1995 off-season in exchange for Kevin Stevens and Shawn MacEachern. Murray would play parts of two seasons in Pittsburgh before being traded to Los Angeles straight up for Ed Olcyzk.

Murray would start to show his goal scoring prowess with the Kings, scoring a then career high 29 goals in 1997-98, and matching that total in 1999-00. After six seasons in Hollywood, he would be traded back to Boston in early 2001. His second stint in Boston would be more memorable, as his first season back would see him score 41 goals and 71 points.

Murray’s best statistical season would happen 2002-03 when he would score 44 goals and 92 points, finishing seventh in league scoring. In addition, he would lead the league in even strength goals and shots, and play in the All-Star game. Murray would play another five seasons with the Bruins before retiring at the end of the 2007-08 season. His career totals see a respectable 1,009 games played, 337 goals and 651 points.

He returned to the Kings in 2012 in a front office role, where he is still employed as their director of player development.

YouTube clip: scoring the double overtime winner against the rival Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Murray is the lucky recipient of Alex Kovalev’s failed attempt to draw a slashing penalty while taking out his back-checking teammate.

Card # 70 – Martin Rucinsky

The 20th overall pick as selected by the Edmonton Oilers, Rucinsky was a left winger playing in his home country of Czechoslovakia. 1991-92 would be his first season in the NHL, where he would split six games between Edmonton and Quebec, as he would be traded late in the season for goalie Ron Tugnutt.

He would play a full season with the Nords in 1992-93, scoring 18 goals and 48 points. Rucinsky would transfer with the Nords to Colorado in 1995-96, but be traded part way through the season to Montreal in the blockbuster trade that would see Patrick Roy move to Colorado. This split season between Colorado and Montreal would be his career best, recording 29 goals and 75 points.

The Habs would be Rucinsky’s longest stop in the NHL, playing six seasons (1995-2001), leading the team in scoring with 17 goals in 1998-99 (the lowest total to ever lead the Habs in their 100+ year history). Beginning in the 2001-02 season, Rucinsky would begin to bounce around the NHL:

  • 2001-02: traded from Montreal to Dallas, then to the New York Rangers

  • 2002-03: sign a one-year contact with St. Louis as a free agent

  • 2003-04: sign a one-year contact with the Rangers, and then be traded to Vancouver.

  • 2005-06: returning from the lockout, would sign with the Rangers as a free agent for the second time

  • 2006-07: sign a second time with St. Louis and play the final two years of his NHL career with the Blues.

In his time in the NHL, Rucinsky would play in 916 games, scoring 612 points while suiting up eight teams, including a franchise that changed countries and two separate stints with two separate teams.

He would play in the Czech Republic until 2013 and most recently has been the general manager of the Czech national men’s team.

YouTube clip: scoring a short-handed goal against the Devils in 1997 while playing for the Canadiens.

Card # 71 – Zigmund Palffy

The 26th overall pick, selected by the New York Islanders, Palffy recorded 50 points in 50 games in his native Czechoslovakia during his draft season. He would play 38 games with the Islanders between 1993-95, and also represent Slovakia at the 1994 Olympics, leading the tournament in scoring with 10 points.

1995-95 would be his first full season on Long Island, and he would break out in a big way, scoring 43 goals and 87 points. The following season he would set career highs with 48 goals and 90 points, earning some Hart Trophy votes in the process. Palffy would continue on an upward career trajectory in 1997-98, scoring more than 40 goals for the third straight season, and lead the NHL in power play goals.

Palffy would find himself traded from Long Island in one of the many poorly thought out trades made by GM Mike Milbury. Along with Bryan Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and 4th round pick, Palffy would be traded to Los Angeles for Olli Jokinen, Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and 1st round pick. He would score at better than a point-per-game pace with LA for four seasons, until the 2003-04 when he suffered a shoulder injury and played only 35 games.

After the 2004-05 lockout, Palffy would sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing 42 games for the Pens before retiring in January 2006.

In total Palffy played in three all-star games and finished top 10 in NHL scoring four times in his career.

He would come out of retirement in 2007-08, playing five seasons in his native Slovakia, including the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

YouTube clip: kissing teammate, and current Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green, after scoring a goal.

Card # 72 - Jassen Cullimore

Selected 29th overall by the Vancouver Canucks, the defenceman patrolled the blueline for the Peterborough Petes in the OHL during his draft season. After spending parts of three seasons in the AHL, he would make his NHL debut in 1994-95, recording three points in 34 games.

In 1996 Cullimore would be traded to the Montreal Canadiens for enforcer Donald Brashear. Between 1996 and 1998 he would play 52 games for the Habs.

In January 1998 he would be claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would play seven seasons for Tampa Bay, recording career highs in goals (5) and points (17). Cullimore would be a part of the Lighting’s Stanley Cup winning team in 2004, recording two points in 11 games during the playoff run.

In the summer of 2004 he would sign as a free agent with Chicago, playing two seasons with the Hawks before being traded back to Montreal. He would not suit up for the Habs in his second tour of duty, instead signing with the Panthers in October 2007. He would play two additional seasons for the other Florida franchise, even earning a fifth place Norris Trophy vote in 2007-08.

2009-2010 would see Cullimore play in the AHL, followed by one final season in the NHL with Chicago in 2010-2011 before retiring. In total he played 812 games, recording 111 points. Since 2014 Cullimore has coached high school hockey in Florida.

YouTube clip: ‘fighting’ Alexei Yashin. I use quotes because according to, Yashin has only been in two fights in his NHL career, and this is not considered one of them.

Bonus card: # 63 Martin Lapointe & Jamie Pushor checklist

I neglected to include in my first post on the 1991 Entry Draft picks the card that kicks the set off, the Martin Lapointe & Jamie Pushor checklist. Let's appreciate this card for two factors - the awesome script hats that the 1990s were all about, and the fact that the Red Wings jersey remains untouched over the last 30 years and is still arguably the best jersey in the league.

Our next post will wrap up the three-part series of cards from the 1991 Entry Draft.

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