In this post, we'll give you the five teams that have found the best players outside the first round since 2000.
But, to be entirely honest, this concept came about as we tried to find the "next Red Wings." A funny thing happened, though: We discovered that the Wings weren't actually the best in finding value after Round 1 -- not in the 1990s, not in the 2000s. We understand how they got this reputation: They've drafted late-round gems like Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, Mike Knuble, Chris Osgood and Slava Kozlov -- an impressive group. And these players have been large contributors in Detroit's four Stanley Cups since 1997.
But of the Wings' 1990s non-first-rounders, 15.6 percent of them played in 82 NHL games -- 24th in the league. And overall, those players averaged 37.69 points per 82 games, which is fourth best. So they were good, but not the best by this measure.
Still, the idea is to find teams that drafted best outside of Round 1 in the 2000s. We discarded the "percentage to 82 NHL games" category, because as we've learned from the Wings, the quantity of players doesn't necessarily tell us how well a team has drafted. That means we aren't trying to find which teams have found the most players outside of Round 1. Instead, we're trying to find out which teams found the best players.
First, some averages to put these teams in context: 14.7 percent of non-first-rounders have played 82 NHL games since 2000. Collectively, non-first-rounders have tallied 28.1 points per 82 games -- 32.8 for forwards, 14.8 for defensemen.
Off we go.
The depth of the research after the jump here is very impressive. If you're interested in what NHL teams have successful late-round draft processes, this is a must-read. To do so, you must be an ESPN Insider.