The NHL entry draft is tomorrow in Jersey – I will be going and wanted to give any amateur’s out there a brief overview. Every franchise of the NHL select the rights to amateur hockey players who are eligible for the draft: North American players 18–20 years old and Europeans of all ages entering league for the first time. The draft happens once a year, where the teams take turns choosing players from junior, collegiate and European hockey. There are 30 teams in the NHL and to choose the order of draft selection by a combination of lottery, regular season standing, and playoff results. The 14 teams that do not participate in the post-season enter the Draft Lottery which determines the draft order for the first 14 picks.** Which ever team wins the Stanley Cup will get 30th, last pick and the runner up will get the 29th pick, so on and so forth. Teams with better results get later picks, whereas teams that had poor results get earlier picks. Keep in mind draft picks can be traded. The NHL draft has 7 rounds and over 200 prospects will be drafted.
Currently, the Colorado Avalanche holds the 1st draft pick after winning the Draft Lottery on April 29th and the Chicago Blackhawks, the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions hold the 30th pick. Rumors are circulating about what prospect will receive the first pick by the Avs; the Avs have been publicly proclaiming that Nathan Mackinnon is the top-pick for their team, but with the NHL draft less than 24 hours away anything could happen.
My top draft prospects that I am excited to see are:
1. Jonathan Drouin
2. Max Domi
3. Samuel Morin
4. Jordan Subban
Other people I am hoping to see at the NHL Draft:
• Adam Oates
• Mark Howe
• P.K Subban
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** Read a previous blog about the NHL Draft Lottery: http://theamateurfan.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-nhl-draft-lottery-debute-tonight.html