Erik Haula -- Round 7, 2009; 182nd overall by Minnesota Wild
A bit of a projection of a player who could well rank higher on this list in the coming seasons. Haula's had only 46 regular-season games in the NHL, but his performance in the playoffs this past season shows a player on the rise and the benefit of a late-round development. Haula was a small project out of Minnesota's prep hockey factory, Shattuck-St. Mary's in 2009 when the Wild picked him. He developed his game for three years at the University of Minnesota before turning pro at the end of last season. In his first professional season, Haula had six goals and nine assists and played a key defensive role for the Wild. He then was one of the team's most consistent forwards in the postseason with four goals and three assists in 13 games.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Andrew Shaw -- Round 5, 2011; 139th overall by Chicago Blackhawks
One of the newcomers on the list, Shaw looks to be progressing to a big-time contributor for Chicago. Shaw made the NHL right away after being drafted in 2011 out of playing junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. In 37 games as a rookie in 2011-12, Shaw even scored 12 goals and had 11 assists. Last year, he became a top-six forward for the Blackhawks while reaching 20 goals for the first time in his short career. He had 20 goals and 19 assists in 80 games and appears to be a player on the rise. He had eight points in 12 playoffs games this past season.
NHLI via Getty ImagesMark Buckner
Jaroslav Halak -- Round 9, 2003; 271st overall by Montreal Canadiens
Our longest shot on the list and another 2003 draftee, Halak is another late-round goaltender find. Halak was a part-timer for Montreal before being traded to the St. Louis Blues where he became one of the league leaders routinely in goals-against average in St. Louis' defensive system. Many wondered if Halak was a product of the system before he was traded to Washington this past season and replaced by Ryan Miller with the Blues. All Halak did was improve his numbers with the Capitals, compiling a .930 save percentage to go with a 2.31 goals-against average. The New York Islanders traded for Halak after the season.
NHLI via Getty ImagesAndy Marlin
Mark Streit -- Round 9, 2004; 262nd overall by Montreal Canadiens
The only defenseman on the list, Streit's development hasn't been a quick one. The Swiss native has played Juniors or in the Swedish Elite League since 1994. But he wasn't drafted until 2004 and didn't find himself with a regular NHL job until 2005. His progress really showed with a breakthrough 2006-07 season when he scored double-digit goals for the first time with 10 goals, 26 assists. He was tied for 14th among defensemen in the NHL in scoring this past season with 44 points (10 goals, 34 assists) and is a valuable power-play producer for the Philadelphia Flyers.
NHLI via Getty ImagesScott Levy
Pekka Rinne -- Round 8, 2004; 258th overall by Nashville Predators
Another late-round goalie discovery. Maybe the key to the goaltenders in the late round is patience. Rinne played one more season in his native Finland before becoming a little-used backup for Nashville. He got his chance to play full-time in 2008-09 and has become one of the steadiest goaltenders in the league, benefiting from a strong, steady approach and Nashville's defensive system. Over the past six seasons, Rinne has won 162 games and has career marks of 2.39 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
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Dustin Byfuglien -- Round 8, 2003; 245th overall by Chicago Blackhawks
The 2003 draft provided a few late-round surprises, including Pavelski, Moulson and Byfuglien. "Big Buff" has become a force in the NHL while playing both forward and defense. He helped Chicago win a Stanley Cup before moving on to the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise. Byfuglien, a Minnesota native, tied a career high with 20 goals for Winnipeg this past season and added 36 assists for a career-high 56 points.
NHLI via Getty ImagesJonathan Kozub
Matt Moulson -- Round 9, 2003; 263rd overall by Pittsburgh Penguins
The epitome of a late-round flier. Moulson wasn't drafted until the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Penguins and fulfilled three more seasons in college at Cornell before making his way to the pros. Pittsburgh didn't even know what it had in Moulson, who made his NHL debut in 2007 for the Los Angeles Kings. Since then, Moulson became a three-time, 30-goal scorer with the New York Islanders before being traded twice this season and finishing with the Minnesota Wild. He had 23 goals and 28 assists this past season with New York, Buffalo and Minnesota (six goals, seven assists in 20 games).
Benn has developed into one of the league's top offensive players in a short NHL career, to date. Benn tied Joe Pavelski with 79 points this season to rank eight in the NHL (along with Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom). The Canadian Juniors star didn't take as long to make it to the NHL as Pavelski, but he's been equally effective. Benn had career highs with 34 goals and 45 assists this season, and has scored at least 20 goals four of his five NHL seasons, only falling short in 2013 because of the lockout when he was on pace to top 20 goals.
NHLI via Getty ImagesLen Redkoles
Joe Pavelski -- Round 7, 2003; 205th overall by San Jose Sharks
Maybe there's something about the 205th selection. Pavelski was taken the same spot as Lundqvist three years later. After being drafted in 2003, Pavelski went on to play one season in the United States Hockey League and two years at the University of Wisconsin. The wait for San Jose was well worth it. Pavelski has turned into one of the league's top scorers. He's already accumulated five seasons with more than 20 goals and was on pace for a sixth in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Last year, he had his first 40-goal season, ranking third in the NHL with 41 goals and passing out 38 assists in playing all 82 games.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated PMarcio Jose Sanchez
Henrik Lundqvist -- Round 7, 2000; 205th overall by New York Rangers
Goaltenders are notoriously late bloomers and many have been later-round finds. "King Henrik" is the perfect example of developing a top netminder. After being drafted from his native Sweden, Lundqvist didn't arrive to the NHL until five years later. All he's done is routinely be among the top goaltenders in games played and wins, rarely coming out of the net for the Rangers while compiling a .920 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average. He helped push New York to the Stanley Cup Finals this past season.
Getty ImagesKevork Djansezian
Daniel Alfredsson -- Round 6, 1994; 133rd overall by Ottawa Senators
Maybe another player who might find himself in the Hall of Fame one day. Alfredsson was selected out of his native Sweden and is the fifth-leading active player in goals and points. In his 18-year career, Alfredsson has 444 goals and 713 assists. His 1,157 points have come in 1,246 games. The longtime Ottawa star, who has scored more than 40 goals in a season twice in his career, played last season with the Detroit Red Wings. In his first season outside of Ottawa, he had 18 goals and 31 assists in 68 games.