The 10 Greatest Late-Round Selections in Recent NHL Draft History
Building through the draft may well be the best way to build a contending team.
Many contenders such as: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc., have all built exceptionally successful teams through the draft.
While most superstars are selected in and around the first round, there is that select few that squeak through the cracks, and find themselves in the depths of the later rounds.
Gauging from the 1990 draft, this is a list of the 10 greatest late-round draft picks.
10. Mark Streit
Mark Streit may not be your average superstar defender, but he has built a fairly impressive resume in his five-year NHL career.
Drafted in the ninth round, 262th overall by the Montreal Canadiens, Streit has assumed a role as a steady, reliable, point-producing defenseman.
Streit has amassed 214 points in 361 games split between the Canadiens and the Islanders. One of the better aspects of his game is that he consistently produces for his club, and has proven to be a very valuable asset, at a fairly reasonable price.
9. Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne is just starting to establish himself as a star starting goalie in the NHL.
Rinne just finished up his sophomore season with the Predators, in which he played nearly 60 games, and recorded 32 wins and a .911 save percentage.
This is all very impressive for a player that was selected with the 258th selection in the 2004 NHL entry draft.
Although he can't put himself just yet in the elite goaltending realm, he is quickly climbing the charts. With more experience in the playoffs this year we may see a much improved Pekka in the future.
8. Tomas Vokoun
Tomas is the first of the three Tomas'es to grace this list.
The Panthers net-minder was originally drafted by Montreal with the 226th pick in 1994. Although Vokoun only went on to play 20 minutes with the Canadiens.
Since then he has split his career between the Nashville Predators and the Florida Panthers.
In his time between both clubs, Vokoun has recorded nearly 250 wins, and has yet to have a season where he has recorded a save percentage below .900.
Vokoun is a steady, reliable goaltender who will never let you down.
7. Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Alfreddson is a veteran of 15 seasons in the NHL, and just this past season eclipsed the 1000-game mark in his career.
Daniel Alfredsson has been the face of the Ottawa Senators since he was named captain. Alfredsson holds franchise records in goals, assists, and points, and is eight points shy of 1,000 in his career.
Alfredsson was named the Rookie of the Year in 95/96, and has been a Lady Byng finalist on a couple occasions.
Alfredsson is also a veteran of 13 international events, including a gold medal win in Turino.
These are all impressive statistics for a player that went 133rd overall in 1994.
6. Tomas Kaberle
Tomas Kaberle is one of the better offensive defensemen in the game today.
The Czech Republic native has really established himself in the league, and with the Toronto faithful.
Kaberle was drafted by Toronto in 1996 in the eighth round, 204th overall.
Tomas is a smart player who can read the play well and make that perfect tape-to-tape pass to start a rush. Usually amongst the leaders in scoring for the Leafs, Kaberle has put up impressive numbers in his career.
With rumours constantly surrounding him this past season and offseason, it should be interesting to see where Kaberle lands next year. Whichever team manages to nab him should be quite happy with the effort Kaberle puts out night in and night out.
5. Tomas Holmstrom
Tomas Holmstrom has certainly asserted himself as one of the most frustrating players in the game.
Setting up shop in front of the goaltender, Holmstrom can always manage to screen the goalie, and set up goals for the Red Wings.
Holmstrom was an amazing pick up with the 257th overall selection.
While he may not put up a point a game, Holmstorm is an exceptional player, and a very big asset to the Detroit Red Wings.
4. Henrik Zetterberg
The Detroit Red Wings had amazing late-round success in the '90s. Another prime example of this is Henrik Zetterberg. In 1999 the Red Wings selected Henrik Zetterbergin in the seventh round with the 210th overall pick.
Henrik Zetterberg has had a great career thus far in Detroit, and could be one of the most underrated forwards in the league.
Although the last couple seasons have been a minor step back, he has still recorded amazing numbers, and could still improve upon his statistics.
Zetterberg is a solid two-way player with good hands, and a solid shot. He truly was one of the greater steals in the draft.
3. Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist is one of the greatest goalies in the NHL today.
After five seasons in the NHL, no one can argue the fact that Lundqvist is an elite goalie.
King Henrik has accumulated 177 wins in five seasons, and has yet to have a season in which he has recorded fewer then 30 wins
Lundqvist's accomplishments include an Olympic Gold Medal, World Championships Gold Medal, and two Silvers at the Worlds.
The futures of the New York Rangers and the Swedish national team revolve around a 205th overall draft pick.
2. Evgeni Nabokov
The Sharks net-minder has really seemed to find his stride over the past couple seasons. The Kamenogorsk native has always been a solid starter, but with three consecutive 40-win seasons, it's no wonder the San Jose Sharks have had so much success in the regular season.
While many have questioned the play of Nabokov in the playoffs, the former Calder winner is certainly silencing those critics now.
With some much needed playoff success, we may even see an improvement on previous years' statistics going forward.
Evgeni was selected by the San Jose Sharks in 1994 with the 219th overall selection.
1. Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk completes the sweep of players from across the pond to make the list, and is the third Detroit Red Wing to crack the top 10.
Datsyuk is quite possibly the most skilled player in the NHL today. The number of moves that Datsyuk has in his repertoire is unmatched by any player. The famed Datsyukian Deke made waves around the league, and he is only getting started.
To accompany Pavel's offensive success, he has won the Selke (best defensive forward) trophy two consecutive seasons, and has been nominated for a third. Also Pavel has won the Lady Byng so many times it should be renamed in his honour.
It is no secret that Pavel is destined for greatness, which is a lot more than can be said for the 170 players picked before him.