NEW YORK – The Chicago Blackhawks® will host the 2017 NHL Draft™ at United Center, the Blackhawks, National Hockey League and city of Chicago announced today. The Draft will be held over two days – Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, 2017. NHL® club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 15,000 fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.
The 2017 event will mark the first time the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago host the NHL Draft.
“The energy and passion Chicago has for the Blackhawks makes United Center the ideal setting for the 2017 NHL Draft," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The Draft will be one of the central moments of our Centennial, and the NHL family is looking forward to bringing this signature event to Chicago for the first time.”
“We are excited that by this event, we will be able to showcase our franchise and the city of Chicago on the world stage,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said.
“The NHL Draft is a world class event so it is only fitting that it will be held here in a world class city,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Considering the NHL’s global reach, hosting the Draft here will further put Chicago on the global stage, attracting visitors from around the world and all of the economic opportunities for our city that they bring.”
Ticket distribution plans, related events and other details pertaining to the 2017 NHL Draft will be announced at a later date.
The NHL Draft offers the opportunity for hockey fans to witness the beginning of the careers of the latest NHL stars. Recent No. 1 overall picks include Alex Ovechkin (Washington, 2004), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh, 2005), Erik Johnson (St. Louis, 2006), Patrick Kane (Chicago, 2007), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay, 2008), John Tavares (NY Islanders, 2009), Taylor Hall (Edmonton, 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton, 2011), Nail Yakupov (Edmonton, 2012), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado, 2013), Aaron Ekblad (Florida, 2014) and Connor McDavid (Edmonton, 2015).
The 2016 NHL Draft will be hosted by the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25. To join the conversation, use the official hashtag #NHLDraft.