Don Maloney would love to take credit for drafting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist while Maloney was the New York Rangers assistant general manager from 1996 to 2007.

"I swam the Atlantic Ocean, climbed mountains and screamed and yelled until we took him," Maloney said Monday.

The truth?

"It was dumb, blind luck," said Maloney, now the Coyotes GM. "I liked his brother. He was a forward in the same draft. I didn't even know who Henrik Lundqvist was."

The NHL annals are littered with late-round picks that achieved stardom. Mark Messier and Nicklas Lidstrom were third-round picks. Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Brett Hull were sixth-round picks. Henrik Zetterberg and Doug Gilmour were seventh-round picks and Luc Robitaille was a ninth-round pick.

But the talk of this year's Stanley Cup Final is Lundqvist, a seventh-round selection who is now considered New York's greatest asset and greatest hope for ending a 20-year Stanley Cup drought as it opens up against the heavily favored Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center.

"It's been a dream ever since I came to New York to try to win and bring the Cup to New York," said Lundqvist, who is making his Cup Final debut in his ninth NHL season. "We definitely have the team to do it."

While he was still playing for Vastra Frolunda in Sweden, Lundqvist's agent talked him into flying to the 2000 NHL Draft in Calgary -- a decision he was questioning after six rounds had passed and he was the only Swedish prospect (including his brother, Joel) to make the trip who had not been chosen.