The 1990 NHL Entry Draft saw an era of complete Canadian dominance nearing an end. National Hockey League teams were starting to take a serious look at Eastern European players from Russia and the Czech Republic. It was a draft probably best known for players like Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur. However, looking deeper in the draft, there were four players taken in the third or later rounds that went on to play over 1,000 regular season games in the NHL.
Vyacheslav Kozlov - Detroit Red Wings
Slava Kozlov was taken by the Red Wings in the third round, 45th overall from Voskresensk Khimik in Russia. Kozlov went on to play 1,182 regular season games in the NHL from 1991-92 to 2009-10 with the Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers. Over that time, he scored 356 goals and assisted on 497 for 853 points.
With Detroit, Kozlov was a Stanley Cup champion in 1996-97 and 1997-98. He was traded from Detroit to Buffalo in 2001 for Czech goaltending great, Dominik Hasek. Slava has been playing in the Russia based KHL since 2010-11. In 2012-13, he played for Moscow Spartak.
Sergei Zubov - New York Rangers
Zubov was drafted in the fifth round, 85th overall by the Rangers from CSKA Moscow in Russia. Zubov played 1,068 regular season NHL games between 1992-93 and 2008-09 with the Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars. The playmaker scored 152 goals and assisted on 619 for 771 points.
Sergei won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1993-94 and another with the Stars in 1998-99. In 1995, Zubov was part of notable traded that sent him and Petr Nedved to the Penguins from New York in exchange for Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson. Nedved was taken in the first round of that same 1990 NHL Entry Draft. The following summer, he went to Dallas from Pittsburgh for Kevin Hatcher. Zubov played one final season in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg before retiring from the game.
Craig Conroy - Montreal Canadiens
The Habs took a leap of faith with Conroy, selecting right out of Northwood Prep High School in New York. Craig then played four years at Clarkson University before seeing his first NHL action. He played 1,009 regular season NHL games between 1994-95 and 2010-11 with the Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. He scored 182 goals and assisted on 360 for 542 career NHL points.
Peter Bondra - Washington Capitals
Bondra was taken way down in the eighth round, 156th overall, by the Capitals out of HC Kosice in the Czech Republic. That was simply a steal by the Capitals as Peter went on to play 1,081 regular season NHL games, mostly with Washington. He also appeared with the Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers and Chicago Blackhawks later in his career.
Peter scored 503 goals and assisted on 389 for 892 points. In 1997-98, the only year Washington has reached the Stanley Cup finals, Bondra has his only 50 goal season, finishing with 52. In 2004, he was traded to Ottawa for Brooks Laich. Laich is still a member of the Capitals, as of the end of the 2012-13 season.