COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets and the National Hockey League announced today that the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 23, at Nationwide Arena will take place over two days. The first round will be conducted Friday, June 22, and broadcast live on VERSUS in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada, beginning at 7 p.m., ET. Rounds two through seven will be held on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 10 a.m., ET.
In Columbus, NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Entry Draft floor while over 10,000 fans and more than 500 print, television and radio media also are expected. The Draft is expected to attract approximately 3,000 visitors to the city, accounting for 4,500 room nights and approximately $3 million in visitor spending.
Montreal native Angelo Esposito, a center for the defending Memorial Cup champion Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is the top-ranked North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Service mid-season ranking of eligible players for the Draft. Trevor Cann of the OHL's Peterborough Petes is the top-rated North American goaltender, while right wing Alexei Cherepanov (Omsk, Russia) and goaltender Mark Owuya (Djurgarden) of the Swedish junior league are the top ranked skater and goalie, respectively, from European leagues.
For a schedule of events and other details pertaining to the Draft, or to register for free tickets, fans can log onto www.BlueJackets.com throughout the coming months. Previously distributed tickets dated "June 23" will be honored on both days of the Draft.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Thursday when they host the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena. Game time set for 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FSN Ohio begins with the IceBreaker pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. and includes the Blue Jackets Ice Cap post-game show immediately following the game. The game will also be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 the Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.
Individual game tickets for 2006-07 regular season home games are on sale now at Nationwide Arena, The Chiller Ice Rinks, ticketmaster Ticket Centers and on-line at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.