The best three Detroit Red Wings late round draft selections

The Detroit Red Wings hold the 4th overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, which gets underway tonight. It’s been a while since they picked that high in the annual proceedings – in fact, the last time they held the 4th pick, they picked a young Steve Yzerman in 1983.

They’re banking on whomever they select to have a major part in their team rebuild as they look to rebound from owning the NHL’s worst record, and four straight years out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, they’ve been able to strike gold late in the annual Draft in years past, finding some of the greatest players in NHL history who would have been surefire 1st round picks had other teams done their homework.

Let’s take a look back at the three best late round draft selections made by the Red Wings.

No. 3: Pavel Datsyuk, 171st overall in 1998
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You can excuse folks for overlooking Pavel Datsyuk early in his first season with the Detroit Red Wings. After all, he was a rookie on a team stacked with nine future Hall of Fame players. However, fans quickly began to take notice of the flashy Russian’s on-ice creativity. He was soon placed on a line with forward Boyd Devereaux and veteran Brett Hull, forming the “Two Kids and a Goat” line that culminated in the 2002 Stanley Cup title.

He is a three-time Selke Award winner as the NHL’s top defensive forward and a two-time Cup winner.

No. 2: Henrik Zetterberg, 210th overall in 1999
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Swedish forward Henrik Zetterberg burst onto the scene in the 2002-03 NHL Season as a rookie on the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, and finished 2nd overall in Calder Trophy voting as the NHL’s top rookie that season. The future captain of the Red Wings was the 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs, and would score over 330 career goals and appear in over 1,000 games – all with Detroit.

No. 1: Sergei Fedorov, 74th overall in 1989
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One of the most exciting and dynamic forwards in NHL history, Russian forward Sergei Fedorov defected to North American in the dead of night after being drafted by the Red Wings in 1989, and put together a spectacular NHL career. With over 400 career goals, the 3-time Stanley Cup winner won the 1994 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable player.