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The Friday Five: Hidden Gems

by Leah Hendrickson / Chicago Blackhawks

With their second-to-last pick of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, the Chicago Blackhawks selected goaltender named Dominik Hasek 207th overall. This 10th-rounder would go on to win six Vezina Trophies and two Hart trophies in Buffalo, and a Stanley Cup with Detroit. 

In the history of the draft, the Blackhawks have found their share of gems, players that were selected in the later rounds but would go on to make substantial impacts on the team. Here's a look at the biggest steals in Blackhawks draft history.

1. Steve Larmer—selected in the sixth round (120th overall) in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.

Steve Larmer snuck under the radar in 1980 when he was selected in the sixth round, but he now ranks in the Blackhawks' top five in points (923), goals (406) and assists (517). He won the Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 1983, and went on to make 891 appearances in 12 seasons with the Blackhawks, placing seventh on the franchise leaderboard for games played in a Blackhawks sweater.

2. Eric Daze—selected in the fourth round (90th overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in Quebec City.

In 1995-96, his first full year in Chicago, Daze recorded an impressive 30 goals on his way to making the NHL's All-Rookie Team at season's end. Daze scored 226 goals in his Blackhawks career, 11th most in Blackhawks history. Daze added NHL All-Star Game MVP to his resume in 2002.

3. Darryl Sutter—selected in the 11th round (179th overall) in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.

Sutter played in 406 games for the Blackhawks during his eight seasons with Chicago. His 279 points in that time ranks 39th in franchise history. His name has been in the news recently, after coaching the L.A. Kings to their first Stanley Cup in their 45-year franchise history.

4. Troy Murray—selected in the third round (57th overall) in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.

In 12 seasons with the Blackhawks, Murray recorded 291 assists, which ranks 14th all-time in franchise history, and his 488 points ranks 15th on the franchise leaderboard. His best season with Chicago was 1985-86, when he scored 99 points (45G, 54A) and earned the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward.

5. Dustin Byfuglien—selected in the eighth round (245th overall) in the 2203 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville.

In 260 regular-season tilts with the Blakchawks, Byfuglien tallied 109 points (55G, 54A). Byfuglien was named alternate captain of the Winnipeg Jets a few months into the 2010-11 season.

Honorable mention:

  • Niklas Hjalmarsson—selected in the fourth round (108th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa.
    Among the 210 players drafted in the 2005 NHL Draft, Hjalmarsson is one of only nine defenseman to have played in over 260 NHL games. Hjalmarsson played in 69 games in 2011-12 and recorded 142 blocked shots.
  • Andrew Shaw—selected in the fifth round (139th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minneapolis.
    After being completely passed up entirely in the 2009 and 2010 drafts, the "19th rounder" recorded 23 points (12G, 11A) in 37 contests. He also delivered 82 hits and accumulated 50 penalty minutes while averaging 15:12 of ice time each game. Shaw was one of three players selected in the 2011 NHL Draft to have played in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs; fellow Chicago prospect and 2011 draft pick Brandon Saad joined him on that short list.
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