It's hard to find talent outside of the first round of the NHL Draft. The Draft itself is a lottery, but the odds are less and less in favor of the drafting team as each round passes. However, hidden gems can still be found, as well as solid, and even all-star players can be unearthed late in the day.
Below are the top five players drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes (starting in 1996) after the first round ended. Order is determined by NHL contributions thus far, expectations for the future and which round they were drafted in.
5. Kevin Porter - 4th round pick (2004)
The 199th overall pick in '04 has played for three different NHL teams: Phoenix, Colorado and Buffalo. The 27-year old has played 194 NHL games scoring 29 goals, 54 points and recording 269 hits. Porter appears to have found his place as an NHL fourth liner.
4. Michael Stone - 3rd round pick (2008)
Since being drafted 69th overall, Stone has blossomed into a steady force on Dave Tippett's blueline. In parts of two seasons with the Coyotes, the 23-year-old has recorded six goals, 12 points, 105 hits and 82 blocked shots in 53 games. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has a long career ahead of him and projects as a future top-4 defenseman.
3. Ossi Väänänen - 2nd round pick (1998)
The only retired player to make this list, Väänänen hung up his skates after playing nearly 500 NHL games with four different teams. The defenseman's best years were the four he spent in Phoenix in which he scored 10 goals and 45 points in 291 games. To this day, Väänänen plays with the team he was on before entering the NHL, the Helsinki Jokerit.
2. Daniel Winnik - 9th round pick (2004)
Drafted in a round that no longer exists, Winnik has made himself into a solid NHL player that sees consistent third line minutes year after year. Selected 265th overall (!) in 2004, the Toronto, Ontario native was drafted just before the lockout of 2004-05. After the most recent lockout, Winnik played in all 48 games this season for Anaheim. The 28-year-old has played for four teams over his 414 NHL game career thus far, and has recorded 43 goals, 120 points and 476 hits. Winnik should have a long career playing bottom-six minutes in the NHL.
1: Keith Yandle - 4th round pick (2005)
One-hundred and four players were selected before the now two-time all-star was selected in 2005's NHL Draft. Yandle has scored 53 goals and 217 points in 413 games. His durability is also something to marvel at as he has not missed even a single game over the last four seasons. Yandle is already one of the game's best offensive defensemen and will be for years to come. The 26-year-old has been a wonderful surprise for the Coyotes and thus earning the number one spot on our list.
Think we missed someone? Got the order wrong? Tell us who else should have been considered a hidden gem in the comments section.