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Who says the draft is so important? Sure, the overwhelming majority of players enter the NHL through traditional means. But, there is a lot of talent in the NHL right now that never heard their name called at the draft table. You could assemble quite a team from these overlooked gems. Maybe Jim Balsillie can start his own squad by sifting through the junior ranks and European circuit.

I've assembled what I think to be a pretty decent roster of undrafted players. I'm sure I missed a few. Interestingly enough, the Cup winning Pens have four undrafted names, while the runner up Redwings boasted three of their own. Here it is:

Niklas Backstrom
Dwayne Roloson
Ty Conklin

Dan Boyle - Marc-Andre Bergeron
Mark Eaton - Tom Preissing
Brian Rafalski - Brett Lebda

Martin St. Louis - Andy McDonald - Jason Blake
Sean Avery - John Madden - Chris Kunitz
Alex Burrows - Dustin Penner - Ruslan Fedotenko
Todd White - Pascal Dupuis - Chad Larose

Amazing to think that all those scouts missed out on the chance to add names like Backstrom, Boyle, Rafalski, and St. Louis to their rosters.

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Filed Under:   never drafted   nhl players  
September 9, 2009 9:17 AM ET | Delete
I'll take Dan Girardi over at least 3 of those defenseman.
September 9, 2009 10:10 AM ET | Delete
Nice job.
September 9, 2009 10:10 AM ET | Delete
That's a pretty impressive list. Another couple of notable (although retired ) goalies never drafted are Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph. I'm sure there are 100's of great undrafted players throughout the years. But, for every one player that went undrafted and came to the NHL and succeded, there are 100 players that were drafted and failed to make an impact. Thus proving your point that drafting is by no means an exact science.
September 9, 2009 10:45 AM ET | Delete
your forgetting Josh Gorges... id take him over lebda, preissing and eaton
September 9, 2009 11:03 AM ET | Delete
I was definitely only including current NHL's. Otherwise, a guy named Gretzky may have made the team.
September 9, 2009 12:46 PM ET | Delete
thats deffly not a good team if u ahve andy mcdonald as your first line center and any team that has the word allstar in it with sean avery involved pretty much isn't an allstar team so yea i like the article just not some of the players. good read thanks
September 9, 2009 1:11 PM ET | Delete
Wow really cool blog!!!! I didnt alot of those players went undrafted!!!
September 11, 2009 3:32 PM ET | Delete
Great list. I had no idea some of these guys are undrafted. I don't get the guy who hates on Andy McDonald...one of the most underrated centers in the league. He's put up as many points the last few seasons as a guy like Scott Gomez for a fraction of the price. People are shocked if they actually compare the numbers.
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