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On this date in Penguins history: Marc-Andre Fleury selected with first pick in 2003 NHL Draft

The Penguins traded up in the draft to get the first pick.

Fleury stands with Penguins reps Photo by Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI

Twenty years ago today, the Penguins made the first of several franchise-changing draft picks when they selected Marc-Andre Fleury with the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft.

The Penguins traded up on draft day to select Fleury, sending the third overall pick, the 55th pick, and Mikael Samuelsson to the Florida Panthers in exchange for the first pick and the 73rd pick. Florida would use the third pick to select Nathan Horton.

It goes without saying that it was a home run pick for the Penguins as Fleury would be a mainstay in the net for the Penguins for over a decade.

Fleury, still playing in the NHL, is nearing the 1000-games played mark.

The Penguins would have a series of first-round picks over the next four seasons that would change the franchise’s direction with Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Jordan Staal joining Fleury among the team’s new young core that would soon be contending for a playoff spot.