report this adBY BRETT SLAWSON
All through NHL historical past, the league’s elite gamers have sometimes been these chosen within the annual NHL Entry Draft. The place and spherical by which these gamers are drafted are sometimes used as a measuring stick to find out the long run success of a given participant.
Gamers chosen early within the first spherical have expectations of greatness positioned upon them. These chosen in center rounds are typically longshots to be persistently profitable NHL gamers, whereas these chosen within the ultimate rounds are often given a slim likelihood to develop into important contributors within the league.
Nonetheless, the chances of going undrafted, reaching the NHL, after which changing into an elite participant are even worse, but, there are a choose few gamers in historical past who, having slipped by means of the cracks, went on to develop into a number of the best gamers in NHL historical past.
The Undrafted Elite
The next gamers are amongst the best to ever play within the NHL with out having been drafted. Though there are a selection of different gamers who may definitely be talked about right here, this listing represents these deemed to be probably the most profitable contemplating their conditions.
Geoff Courtnall, a veteran of 17 NHL seasons, spent his profession with 5 groups; the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Washington Capitals.
In all, Courtnall performed 1048 profession video games regardless of going undrafted, scoring 367 targets and 799 factors within the course of. A 3-time NHL All-Star, Courtnall gained his one and solely Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1987-88. Additional, Courtnall loved 15 consecutive seasons by which he reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs whereas scoring 39 targets and 109 factors in 156 post-season contests.
A talented defenseman, Duchesne performed 16 seasons within the NHL with six totally different groups; the Los Angeles Kings, Blues, Purple Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators.
A excessive scoring defender, Duchesne amassed 227 targets and 752 factors in his profession, which spanned a complete of 1113 video games. A seven-time All-Star, Duchesne additionally completed within the top-10 in Norris Trophy voting on three events and positioned fifth twice.
In an unimaginable 14 journeys to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Duchesne scored 77 factors in 121 video games and gained a Stanley Cup in his ultimate NHL season with the Purple Wings.
Retiring in 2015-16, Dan Boyle performed over 1000 video games regardless of being an undrafted defender. (Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports activities) (Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports activities)
A current retiree, Boyle was a veteran of 17 NHL seasons who performed for the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, and New York Rangers.
Initially signed by the Florida Panthers in 1998, Boyle netted 163 targets and 605 factors in his profession, which totalled 1093 video games. Additional, as a seven-time All-Star, Boyle completed within the top-10 in Norris Trophy voting on three events, whereas additionally competing with the Canadian Olympic crew in 2010.
Along with his common season and worldwide accomplishments, Boyle additionally registered 81 factors in 130 profession playoff video games and gained his one and solely Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2003-04.
Probably the greatest goaltenders in NHL historical past, “Cujo” performed 943 profession NHL video games and amassed a 454-352-96 profession document with a .906% save share and a couple of.79 Targets In opposition to Common within the course of.
A six-time All-Star and Canadian Olympian, Joseph completed within the top-5 in Vezina Trophy voting on 5 events, whereas he gained the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1999-00 for his management and humanitarian contributions.
Steve “Stumpy” Thomas was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in Could of 1984, a choice which paved the best way for a 20-season profession within the NHL.
Over his 20 seasons, Thomas performed for the Chicago Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Mighty Geese, and the Purple Wings. In 1235 profession video games, Thomas scored 421 targets and 933 whole factors. A two-time All-Star, Thomas by no means managed to win a Stanley Cup, though he was a terrific playoff performer, scoring 107 factors in 174 postseason video games.
Though he solely performed 11 seasons within the NHL, Rafalski was an elite defender 12 months after 12 months enjoying for each New Jersey and Detroit.
Brian Rafalski transcended the normal function of a defender along with his agile offensive play. (Icon SMI)
In his time within the NHL, Rafalski was a six-time All-Star and perennial candidate for the Norris and Woman Byng trophies. In 833 profession video games, Brian scored 79 targets and posted a powerful 436 assists, giving him a complete of 515 profession factors. A 3-time Stanley Cup champion, to say Rafalski was a dependable postseason participant can be an understatement, as he scored 100 factors in 165 video games alongside a +/- plus 42 ranking.
Salming was signed by the Maple Leafs in 1973, a crew with which he would spend 16 NHL seasons. In his 17 season profession, Salming additionally spent one extra 12 months with the Purple Wings.
BOSTON, MA – 1970’s: Borge Salming #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates in opposition to the Boston Bruins at Boston Backyard. (Picture by Steve Babineau/NHLI by way of Getty Photographs)
All through his time within the league, Salming shortly shed the notion that European gamers have been too gentle to reach the NHL by enjoying a powerful and bodily model of hockey. On high of his grit, Salming may rating, and particularly so early in his profession as he loved six seasons within the 10-20 objective vary. In whole, over 1099 profession video games, Salming scored 768 profession factors and was additionally a nine-time All-Star. Ending within the top-5 in voting for the Norris Trophy on seven events, Salming was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1996.
Additional, the Maple Leafs added Salming to Legends Row in 2015, celebrating his contributions to the group with a bronze statue.
Dino Ciccarelli was a dynamic offensive drive, high quality 200-foot participant, and worsening presence to his opponents.
After breaking into the NHL as a member of the Minnesota North Stars throughout the 1980-81 marketing campaign, Ciccarelli pushed on and put collectively an extremely spectacular 19-year profession. A member of 5 totally different organizations throughout his profession, Ciccarelli totalled 608 targets and 1200 factors in 1232 video games performed — an unimaginable output contemplating his bodily play and adornment of antics.
Nonetheless, persistence would in the end repay for Ciccarelli, who was inducted to the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2011. Though he was awarded the excellence in his eighth 12 months of eligibility, it goes with out saying that the honour was properly deserved contemplating Ciccarelli’s unimaginable observe document of manufacturing.
Joe Mullen was a constant offensive risk in his 16-year NHL profession after signing with the Blues in 1979. In all, Mullen performed for the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis, Calgary Flames, and at last, the Bruins.
A prolific objective scorer, Mullen scored 40 targets or extra seven occasions in his profession, together with a 51 objective marketing campaign in 1988-89. In whole, Mullen would rating 502 targets in his profession, and 1063 factors in 1602 video games. A nine-time All-Star, Mullen gained the Woman Byng Trophy twice and was subsequently inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2000.
Adam Oates is one more instance of an undrafted participant who had a improbable hockey profession; he was signed by the Purple Wings in 1985.
In his 19-year profession, Oates performed for seven groups; Boston, Washington, Detroit, St. Louis, the Anaheim Mighty Geese, Philadelphia, and Edmonton.
MONTREAL 1990’s: Adam Oates #12 of the Boston Bruins skates in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens within the early 1990’s on the Montreal Discussion board in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Picture by Denis Brodeur/NHLI by way of Getty Photographs)
Often known as the most effective playmakers in NHL historical past, Oates led the league in assists on three events and totalled an immense 1079 helpers in 1337 profession video games. Though he by no means gained a Stanley Cup, Oates’ 1420 profession factors rank 17th all-time, a big purpose why he was a nine-time All-Star and inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2012.
Ed Belfour has been probably the most profitable undrafted goalie to play within the NHL to this point.
Signed by the Blackhawks in 1987, Belfour loved an amazing 17 12 months NHL profession enjoying for the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, Panthers, and Sharks.
Often known as “The Eagle”, Belfour was, merely put, the most effective goaltenders in NHL historical past. With a profession document of 484-320-125, save share of .906% and targets in opposition to of two.50, Belfour was named as an All-Staron 12 events.
In his first full NHL season of 1990-91, Belfour gained the Calder, Vezina and William Jennings trophies, all in the identical marketing campaign. These awards can be the first of two Vezina’s and 4 William Jennings awards Belfour would seize in his profession. By way of postseason success, Belfour did handle to win one Stanley Cup, and it got here in 1998-99 with the Dallas Stars.
He was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2011.
After defecting to Canada in 1980, Stastny signed with the Quebec Nordiques.
Stastny loved a extremely profitable 14-year NHL profession and performed for the Quebec Nordiques, Devils, and Blues. A six-time All-Star, Stastny scored 450 targets and 1239 factors in his profession which spanned 977 video games. Stastny by no means managed to win a Stanley Cup, but he had nice success within the playoffs, scoring 105 factors in 93 video games.
A Calder Trophy winner within the 1980-81 season, Stastny was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1998.
Martin St. Louis
“Marty” St. Louis was signed by the Calgary Flames in 1998, though he solely performed components of two seasons with the crew.
After retiring, Martin St. Louis had his quantity raised to the rafters by the Tampa Bay Lightning.(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities)
A veteran of 16 NHL seasons, St. Louis performed for the Flames, Lightning and at last, the Rangers. In 1134 profession video games, St. Louis recorded six seasons of 30 plus targets, in addition to one season of 43. Actually, he led the league in scoring twice, and in doing so garnered two Artwork Ross trophies.
A 10-time All-Star, Marty gained the Ted Lindsay Award, and the Woman Byng Trophy 3 times. He gained the Stanley Cup in 2003-04 and is a protected wager for future Corridor of Fame induction.
Regardless of his considerably obscure state of affairs, Wayne Gretzky was, the truth is, by no means drafted into the NHL. When the Oilers joined the NHL, Gretzky was signed to a “private providers” contract, permitting the Oilers to retain his rights and for Gretzky to by no means enter the NHL Entry Draft.
Gretzky chats with Lafleur (Picture by Frank Lennon/Toronto Star by way of Getty Photographs)
In his 20-year NHL profession, Gretzky turned the most effective to ever play the sport and skated with the Oilers, Kings, Blues, and Rangers. A mere 1487 video games later, Gretzky had scored 894 targets, 1963 assists, and 2857 factors, all totals which stand as probably the most ever recorded and data which can probably by no means be damaged.
An 18-time All-Star, Gretzky captured the Hart Trophy 9 occasions, the Artwork Ross ten occasions, the Ted Lindsay Award 5 occasions, the Woman Byng 5 occasions, and the Conn Smythe Award twice.
A four-time Stanley Cup champion, Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1999.
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