The NHL has granted Chicago the 2017 Draft at the United Center on June 23 and 24. The Windy City has never hosted the event in 53-year history of the draft.
“The 2017 draft, our centennial draft, is awarded to Chicago, the Blackhawks and the United Center,” announced NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
“Anytime an NHL event is held in an Original Six city it adds to it the historical element of the NHL and with Chicago hosting the 2017 Draft, their storied history at the Chicago Stadium and their success at the United Center will bring home to all NHL fans and future players the rich traditions that come with playing in the National Hockey League,” claimed Dan Marr, director of NHL central scouting.
The city will host the Frozen Four in April 2007.
The league holds the draft a few weeks after the season ends. Montreal hosted the event from 1963 to 1980. Since then, other cities took turns with the draft. The New York Rangers remain the only Original Six team to not host it.
“The energy and passion Chicago has for the Blackhawks makes United Center the ideal setting for the 2017 NHL Draft,” said the commissioner. “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.”
Experts believe the team with the first pick will choose Auston Matthews this June at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY.