Perhaps an even greater indictment of the job that Patrick and Greg Malone did (or more accurately, FAILED to do) with the drafts in the mid-late 1990s is shown if you look at all of the players drafted from 1993 to 1998. It shows that they did not just fail miserably with first-round picks. The Pens' drafts from those years read as a cautionary tale.
Beginning with Stefan Bergkvist in 1993 and ending with Matt Hussey in 1998, the Pens selected 60 players. Of those 60 players, only 15 of them went on to establish some degree of a presence in the NHL, and as you see by this list of luminaries, we'll use the term "presence" loosely here. This was the best of the bunch...
1993 - Dave Roche, Patrick Lalime, Hans Jonsson
1994 - Richard Park, Sven Butenschon, Serge Aubin and Chris Wells
1995 - Aleksey Morozov, J.S. Aubin, Jan Hrdina
1996 - Michal Rozsival
1997 - Josef Melichar, Andy Ference
1998 - Milan Kraft, Rob Scuderi
That's it. 15 remotely recognizable names out of 60 for a sparkling "success" rate of 25%. And it's not like there are many redeeming names in that bunch, either. That's not just bad. That's "Cincinnati Bengals" bad. That's "L.A. Clippers" bad. That's embarrasing.
It gets worse.
Drafting in any of the pro sports is at best an inexact science. It's even tougher in a sport like hockey where you are trying to project the abilities and potential of an 18-year old kid into a game dominated by players a decade (or more) older. But at the VERY LEAST, teams would hope that the players they take in the top 100 of the draft each year (typically Rounds 1-4) would develop and contribute at the NHL level.
Between 1993 and 1998, the Pens picked 21 players who went in the top 100 of their respective drafts. Let's look at these names...
1993 - Stefan Bergkvist, Dominic Pittis, Dave Roche
1994 - Chris Wells, Richard Park, Sven Butenschon, Greg Crozier, Alexei Krivchenkov
1995 - Aleksey Morozov, J.S. Aubin
1996 - Craig Hillier, Pavel Skrbek, Boyd Kane, Boris Protsenko
1997 - Robert Dome, Brian Gaffaney, Josef Melichar, Alexandre Mathieu
1998 - Milan Kraft, Alexander Zevakhin, David Cameron
How bad is it when you can look at a list of 21 players and the best two you can pick out are Aleksey Morozov and Josef Melichar? There isn't one player in that group who has remotely approached star status. There is at best one, maybe two players in that group who might be recognizable names to an above-average hockey fan. At best, you're talking a success rate of what, maybe 10-15%?
How in the hell did Greg Malone manage to keep his job through all of those drafts?