NHL Entry Draft
The NHL Entry Draft is an annual meeting in which every franchise of the National Hockey League (NHL) systematically select the rights to available amateur ice hockey players who meet draft eligibility requirements (North American players 18–20 years old and Europeans of all ages entering league for the first time, all others enter league as unrestricted free agents). The NHL Entry Draft is held once every year, generally within two to three months after the conclusion of the previous season. During the draft, teams take turns selecting amateur players from junior, collegiate, or European leagues.
The first draft was held in 1963, and has been held every year since. The NHL Entry Draft was known as the "NHL Amateur Draft" up until 1979. The entry draft has only been a public event since 1980, and a televised event since 1984. The order is determined by the standings at the end of the regular season, but with one team winning the NHL Draft Lottery and moving up 4 picks in the draft order. Teams at the bottom of the regular season standings are more likely to win the lottery.
The first NHL Entry Draft (at that time known as the "NHL Amateur Draft") was held on June 5, 1963 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Any amateur player under the age of 20 was eligible to be drafted. In 1979, the rules were changed allowing players who had previously played professionally to be drafted. This rule change was made to facilitate the absorption of players from the defunct World Hockey Association. Consequently, the name of the draft was changed from "NHL Amateur Draft" to "NHL Entry Draft". Beginning in 1980, any player who is between the ages of 18 and 20 is eligible to be drafted. In addition, any non-North American player over the age of 20 can be selected. From 1987 through 1991, 18 and 19-year-old players could only be drafted in the first three rounds unless they met another criterion of experience which required them to have played in major junior, U.S. college and high school, or European hockey.
In 1980, the Entry Draft became a public event, and was held at the Montreal Forum. Prior to that year the Entry Draft was conducted in Montreal hotels or league offices and was closed to the general public. The first draft outside of Montreal was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, in 1985. Live television coverage of the draft began in 1984 when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation covered the event in both English and French for Canadian audiences. The 1987 Entry Draft, held at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan, was the first NHL Draft to be held in the United States. SportsChannel America began covering the event in the United States in 1989.
Prior to the development of the Draft, NHL teams sponsored junior teams, and signed prospects in their teens to the junior teams. Players were signed to one of three forms: the "A" form, which committed a player to a tryout; a "B" form, which gave the team an option to sign a player in return for a bonus; and the "C" form, which committed a player's professional rights. The "C" form could only be signed by the player at age eighteen or by the player's parents, often in exchange for some signing bonus. The first drafts (up until the 1968 Amateur Draft) twere held to assign players who had not signed with an NHL organization before the sponsorship of junior teams was discontinued after 1968.
Selection order and Draft lottery
The selection order in the Entry Draft is determined by a combination of lottery, regular season standing, and playoff results. However, teams are permitted to trade draft picks. In all cases, the team considered is the original holder of the draft pick, not a team which may have acquired the pick via a trade or other means.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the 14 NHL teams not qualifying for the playoffs are entered in a weighted lottery to determine the initial draft picks in the first round, seeded according to regular season standing. The 30th-place team has a 25% chance of winning the lottery, with odds diminishing to a 0.5% chance for the 17th-place team. A single selection from the lottery pool is made, with the winning team improving its draft position by up to four places, and no team dropping more than one place. Therefore, only the 26th through 30th place teams are eligible to receive the first overall draft pick. Consequently, the 30th place team's chance of retaining the first overall pick improves to 48.2%. The order in the remaining rounds is unaffected by the lottery and is based on regular season standings.
The remaining order is determined by the Stanley Cup playoff results. Whichever team wins the Stanley Cup is awarded the 30th and last pick, while the runner-up is given the 29th pick. The teams eliminated in the conference finals are awarded the 28th and 27th picks, with the 28th pick going to the team with the better regular season record. Remaining division winners, then the rest of the field are ranked next, filling in the 26th through 15th picks. In both cases, better records result in later picks.
When teams lose their rights to a first round draft choice, because that player was not signed to a contract and consequently re-entered the entry draft or became an unrestricted free agent, they are awarded a compensatory draft pick. This selection will be the same numerical choice as the first round draft pick who was not signed, but in the second round. For example, if a team cannot sign the seventh overall first round draft choice, it will receive the seventh pick in the second round of the next draft as compensation.
All players who will be 18 years old before September 15 and not older than 20 years old before December 31 are eligible for selection for that year's NHL Entry Draft. In addition, non-North American players over the age of 20 are eligible.
List of NHL Entry Drafts
Draft Location City Date Total drafted #1 pick 1963 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 5, 1963 21 Garry Monahan (Montreal Canadiens) 1964 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 11, 1964 24 Claude Gauthier (Detroit Red Wings) 1965 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec April 27, 1965 11 Andre Veilleux (New York Rangers) 1966 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec April 25, 1966 24 Barry Gibbs (Boston Bruins) 1967 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec July 7, 1967 18 Rick Pagnutti (Los Angeles Kings) 1968 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 13, 1968 24 Michel Plasse (Montreal Canadiens) 1969 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 12, 1969 84 Rejean Houle (Montreal Canadiens) 1970 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 11, 1970 115 Gilbert Perreault (Buffalo Sabres) 1971 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 10, 1971 117 Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens) 1972 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 8, 1972 152 Billy Harris (New York Islanders) 1973 Mount Royal Hotel Montreal, Quebec May 15, 1973 168 Denis Potvin (New York Islanders) 1974 NHL Montreal Office Montreal, Quebec May 28, 1974 247 Greg Joly (Washington Capitals) 1975 NHL Montreal Office Montreal, Quebec June 3, 1975 217 Mel Bridgman (Philadelphia Flyers) 1976 NHL Montreal Office Montreal, Quebec June 1, 1976 135 Rick Green (Washington Capitals) 1977 NHL Montreal Office Montreal, Quebec June 14, 1977 185 Dale McCourt (Detroit Red Wings) 1978 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec June 15, 1978 234 Bobby Smith (Minnesota North Stars) 1979 Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal, Quebec August 9, 1979 126 Rob Ramage (Colorado Rockies) 1980 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 11, 1980 210 Doug Wickenheiser (Montreal Canadiens) 1981 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 10, 1981 211 Dale Hawerchuk (Winnipeg Jets) 1982 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 9, 1982 252 Gord Kluzak (Boston Bruins) 1983 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 8, 1983 242 Brian Lawton (Minnesota North Stars) 1984 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 9, 1984 250 Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) 1985 Toronto Convention Centre Toronto, Ontario June 15, 1985 252 Wendel Clark (Toronto Maple Leafs) 1986 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 21, 1986 252 Joe Murphy (Detroit Red Wings) 1987 Joe Louis Arena Detroit, Michigan June 13, 1987 252 Pierre Turgeon (Buffalo Sabres) 1988 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 11, 1988 252 Mike Modano (Minnesota North Stars) 1989 Met Center Bloomington, Minnesota June 17, 1989 252 Mats Sundin (Quebec Nordiques) 1990 B.C. Place Vancouver, British Columbia June 16, 1990 250 Owen Nolan (Quebec Nordiques) 1991 Buffalo Memorial Auditorium Buffalo, New York June 22, 1991 264 Eric Lindros (Quebec Nordiques) 1992 Montreal Forum Montreal, Quebec June 20, 1992 264 Roman Hamrlik (Tampa Bay Lightning) 1993 Colisee de Quebec Quebec City, Quebec June 26, 1993 and June 27, 1993 286 Alexandre Daigle (Ottawa Senators) 1994 Hartford Civic Center Hartford, Connecticut June 28, 1994 286 Ed Jovanovski (Florida Panthers) 1995 Edmonton Coliseum Edmonton, Alberta June 28, 1995 234 Bryan Berard (Ottawa Senators) 1996 Kiel Center St. Louis, Missouri June 22, 1996 241 Chris Phillips (Ottawa Senators) 1997 Civic Arena Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June 21, 1997 246 Joe Thornton (Boston Bruins) 1998 Marine Midland Arena Buffalo, New York June 27, 1998 258 Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) 1999 FleetCenter (now TD Garden) Boston, Massachusetts June 26, 1999 272 Patrick Stefan (Atlanta Thrashers) 2000 Canadian Airlines Saddledome Calgary, Alberta June 24, 2000 and June 25, 2000 293 Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders) 2001 National Car Rental Center Sunrise, Florida June 23, 2001 and June 24, 2001 289 Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) 2002 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario June 22, 2002 and June 23, 2002 290 Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets) 2003 Gaylord Entertainment Center Nashville, Tennessee June 21, 2003 and June 22, 2003 292 Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins) 2004 RBC Center Raleigh, North Carolina June 26, 2004 and June 27, 2004 291 Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) 2005 Westin Hotel Ottawa Ottawa, Ontario July 30, 2005 230 Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) 2006 General Motors Place Vancouver, British Columbia June 24, 2006 213 Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues) 2007 Nationwide Arena Columbus, Ohio June 22, 2007 and June 23, 2007 211 Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) 2008 Scotiabank Place Ottawa, Ontario June 20, 2008 and June 21, 2008 211 Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning) 2009 Bell Centre Montreal, Quebec June 26, 2009 and June 27, 2009 211 John Tavares (New York Islanders) 2010 Staples Center Los Angeles, California June 25, 2010 and June 26, 2010 210 Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) 2011 Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, Minnesota June 24, 2011 and June 25, 2011 211 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers) 2012 Consol Energy Center Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania June 22, 2012 and June 23, 2012 TBD TBD
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- "Entry Draft Historic Locations". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=31885. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
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- "Sources: Minnesota Wild to host 2011 NHL Entry Draft; Noreau recalled; Wild injury updates; Elite League represented in CSS Rankings". Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/blogs/90160647.html. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
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- ^ Kimelman, Adam (2009-06-10). "Picking top 3 all-time draft classes easy as 1 2 3". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=424812. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- ^ Kreiser, John (2009-06-25). "Drafting by the Numbers". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=431703. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- ^ Brunt, Stephen (2006). Searching for Bobby Orr. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-676-97651-9.
- ^ a b "Islanders have best shot at top pick". National Hockey League. 2009-04-14. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=418259#&navid=nhl-search. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- ^ a b Kimelman, Adam (2009-06-13). "Final order for Entry Draft set". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=425557. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- ^ "More news 2008 NHL Draft Lottery This Monday, April 7 At 8PM". Tampa Bay Lightning. 2008-04-01. http://lightning.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=359201. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- ^ a b "Islanders win NHL draft lottery". National Hockey League. 2009-04-14. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=418357#&navid=nhl-search. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- ^ National Hockey League Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 8: Entry Draft
- ^ "Entry Draft Eligibility". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26377. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- KHL Junior Draft
- List of NHL first overall draft choices
- List of NHL players
- List of undrafted NHL players
- Taro Tsujimoto
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