It's not surprising that undrafted players have NHL careers, shorter or longer. But there are also seven members of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, who never were picked at the NHL Draft. These guys were great hockey players and had great careers despite in young age haven't managed to impress general managers of the NHL clubs before an NHL Draft.
Börje Salming, a Swedish defenceman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. One of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' started his professional career in Sweden with the local Kiruna AIF at the junior level and then joined the Brynäs IF of the Swedish top division. Toronto Maple Leafs scouts noticed him when began scouting in Sweden and signed him in 1973 after three seasons with the Brynäs IF. Salming debuted in the NHL already in the 1973-74 season and was named the best player of the game in his first NHL match. This legendary defenseman played 16 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and finished his NHL career with one season as the Detroit Red Wings player (1989-90). He retired from hockey in 1993 after three more seasons with the AIK in the SHL.
In 17 NHL seasons, Salming played 1229 games, scored 836 (162+674) points and had 171 +/-. He holds Maple Leafs franchise records in career points by a defenceman, career goals by a defenceman, career assists, assists in a season by a defenceman, and career plus-minus. But Toronto's fan favourite never won Stanley Cup nor the World or Olympic Champion title. He's one of the best Swedish players in history and an iconic player of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Also, Salming was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1998.
Peter Šťastný, one of the best Slovak players and the second highest scorer of the 80s after Wayne Gretzky, grew up and started his professional career in Czechoslovakia. "Peter the Great" became a star in Europe in the seven seasons with the HC Slovan Bratislava at the beginning of his career and the moved to Canada with his brother Anton to play for the Québec Nordiques. It was a watershed moment in professional hockey when one of the major hockey stars from the Socialist country joined NHL. A year later another Šťastný brother Marián joined them in Quebec and they become the 3rd trio of brothers to play for the same NHL team.
Peter Šťastný had a long and bright NHL career of ten seasons with the Québec Nordiques (served as a captain 5 seasons), four seasons with the New Jersey Devils and two seasons with the St. Louis Blues, retired from hockey in 1995 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. In 977 games he scored 1239 (450+789) points - an outstanding result! Also in his rookie year, Šťastný won the Calder Trophy and became the World Champion twice with the team Czechoslovakia. His son, Paul Stastny, plays for the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL, but he's not so outstanding in scoring as his father.
Joe Mullen was never drafted but was a star while playing for the Boston College. In his freshman year, Mullen scored 34 points in 24 games and led the team the following three years. He won the Walter Brown Award in 1978 (top American player in New England), was the team captain in his last college season (1978-79) and Boston College retired his number 21 in 1999. After graduation, he signed with the St. Louis Blues but debuted in the NHL just in the 1980 Playoffs. In 16 NHL seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins Mullen played 1062 games and scored 1063 points (502+561). He's a three-time Stanley Cup Champion: with the Calgary Flames in 1989 and twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins (in 1991 and 1992). Also, Joe won the Lady Byng Trophy twice, the Lester Patrick Award and was named to the First All-Star Team in 1989. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, a year after retiring from hockey, and in 2000 Mullen was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Dino Ciccarelli started his professional career with the London Knights of the OMJHL and in his second year with this team scored 142 points in 68 games. After not being selected at the NHL Draft he was signed by the Minnesota North Stars in 1979, played one more season with the Knights and debuted in the NHL in 1980. Already in the second NHL season he made his career best of 106 (55+51) points in 76 games played. Results in the following seasons weren't so impressive, but he often scored about a point per game.
Ciccarelli played 19 NHL seasons in total with the Minnesota North Stars, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers and scored 1200 (608+592) points in 1232 games. He never won the Stanley Cup or personal NHL Awards, but he's an iconic player for the Minnesota North Stars. Ciccarelli was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
Ed Belfour is the only goalie on our list. Like Joe Mullen, he had a great college career (won the NCAA with the University of North Dakota) but was never drafted and signed with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent in 1988. He became the starting goalie in 1990 and set the NHL rookie and Blackhawks team records for wins (43 games of 74 won). Also this season he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie in the league, the Vezina Trophy and the William M. Jennings Trophy. In the following seasons, Belfour won the Vezina Trophy one more time and the William M. Jennings Trophy three more times. He played 17 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and then moved to Swedish Leksands IF for one more season to finish his bright career in 2008. In 963 NHL games played Ed Belfour earned 484 wins (3rd all-time result in the NHL) and had 2.50 GAA, .906 SV%, made 76 shutouts. Also in 2002 he became an Olympic Champion with the team Canada. Many people recognize him as one of the best goalies of all-time, and he's one of only two players to have won an NCAA Championship, an Olympic Games, and the Stanley Cup. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, in his first year of eligibility.
Adam Oates wasn't drafted because scouts decided he was too slow to play in the NHL. But he was recruited to play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the NCAA and after three brilliant years with the RPI many NHL teams was interested in Oates. He signed a $1.1 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985 and became the highest paid rookie in the League. In his rookie year, he played both in the NHL and the AHL with the Adirondack Red Wings and won the Calder Cup, and never returned to the AHL again.
In the 19 NHL seasons Oates changed seven teams: Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Edmonton Oilers. He played 1337 games and scored 1420 (341+1079) points - Oates was an awesome playmaker. As Dino Ciccarelli, he never won the Stanley Cup or personal NHL Awards but was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. Also, in 2012-2014 Oates was a head coach of the Washington Capitals, but didn't achieve a huge success.
Martin St. Louis
Martin St. Louis began his professional career with the University of Vermont in the NCAA, was one of the top scorers in this league and the captain of his team in 1995-1997. After graduating St. Louis was signed by the Cleveland Lumberjacks and his good performance in the IHL cathed the attention of the Calgary Flames. Three seasons in the Flames' system he moved between the NHL and the AHL and then his contract was bought out. Tampa Bay Lightning signed him as a free agent, and there Martin became an NHL star.
In his bright NHL career (16 seasons) St. Louis played for Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers 1134 games, scored 1033 (391+642) points and won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. He became an Olympic Champion in 2014, and a World Cup Champion in 2004 with team Canada. St. Louis won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award (Lester B. Pearson Award), twice - the Art Ross Trophy and three times the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Also, he holds 9 Lightning franchise records. He will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame at the ceremony in November 2018.