Each year the National Hockey League holds an entry level draft for teams to gain new young talent. Throughout the 7 rounds of the draft, players are ranked by top tier scouts on how well they should hopefully produce in the NHL one day. Here’s three players who were steals for their respective franchises in the late rounds of the drafts from 2000-2016.
Joe Pavelski has accomplished many things since being drafted #205 overall in the 2003 Entry Draft. Not only has he become the captain of the San Jose Sharks, but he was the first Sharks’ captain to lead the team to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Finals. Although they didn’t beat the Penguins last year, the team is dominating in the Western Conference and has a serious shot at the Cup again this season. Despite being drafted in 2003, Pavelski didn’t play his first NHL game until the 2006-07 season where he recorded 28 points in 46 games consisting of 14 goals and 14 assists. Since then Pavelski has turned into a consistent 30 goal scorer and as of last season, the ninth full time captain of the Sharks. Not only has he appeared in almost 800 games, but he has tallied 715 points consisting of 286 goals and 329 points. Pavelski is continuing to prove himself as one of the great San Jose Shark players being in the all time top five in categories such as games played, goals, assists and points. In a draft that produced so many star caliber players, not many could have predicted what Joe Pavelski would turn into.
The Dallas Stars impressive offense is led by their captain Jamie Benn. Despite dominating the NHL today, he wasn’t as highly regarded by scouts when he was selected #129th overall in the 2007 Draft by the Dallas Stars. After continuing to dominate in the Western Hockey League after being drafted, Benn made the jump to the National Hockey League in the 2009-10 season where he lit the lamp 20 times and finished with 41 points in 82 games. Benn has accomplished a lot in his 7 year career so far including netting 20 goals in each of his 7 full seasons and also winning the Art Ross Trophy in 2014-15. Although the Stars have struggled in the 2017 season, Benn has continued his offensive production tallying 54 points in 56 games, almost a point a game. Benn has become one of the Stars’ most important players and with an eight year contract extension, he’ll be notching goals in Dallas for a long time to come.
Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best in the business. The fastest goalie to 400 wins. The only goalie in NHL history with 20+ wins in his first 12 seasons. The 34 year old Swedish netminder has been incredibly consistent for the New York Rangers throughout his career, but if there was a redraft today, there’s no doubt he would be taken top five. Henrik Lundqvist was selected by the Rangers #205th overall in the 7th round of the 2000 NHL Draft. It took Lundqvist six seasons before he made the jump to New York, but even in his first season Rangers’ fans knew there was something special about this goalie. In his rookie year Lundqvist appeared in 53 games gathering a 30-12-9 record with a 2.24 GAA and .922% save percentage. He has remained consistent throughout his entire career recording at least 30 wins in every full season he’s played in thus far. Although he is statistically having a down year this season, he’s still one of the best goalies in the game and arguably the best late round draft pick of the 2000s thus far.