Since joining the NHL in the early 1990s, centre Steve Konowalchuk has been a solid two-way centre, a good skater with a tenacious work ethic.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Konowalchuk played two years of junior hockey with the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks. He scored a combined 94 goals and was Washington's 5th choice, 58th overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Konowalchuk was voted on to the WHL's First All-Star Team after scoring 51 goals and 104 points in 1991-92. That year he also suited up for the United States when they won the bronze medal at the 1992 World Junior Championships.
In 1992-93, the young pivot split his first full pro season between the Caps and AHL's Baltimore Skipjacks. He joined Washington on a full-time basis in 1993-94 and became a solid checker and reliable 40-point producer as the fourth centre behind Dale Hunter, Michael Pivonka, Joe Juneau, and Dave Poulin. He gradually worked his way up the ladder and was a crucial part of the team when veterans Hunter and Poulin retired.
Konowalchuk's solid all around game was recognized when he played a game for the U.S. when they won the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. As the Caps began the 2001-02 season with the addition of superstar Jaromir Jagr, Konowalchuk's role as a solid two-way forward remained vital to the success of the team.
A two-time member of the US World Championship team in 2000 and 2002, Konowalchuk was appointed team captain in 2002-03 and remained as the team's leader in the early stages of the 2003-04 season, until being dealt to the Colorado Avalanche.
*Bio courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame