The Stanley Cup has been awarded, and the champagne has been sipped. While the winning players are able to take some time off the celebrate, its time for the managers and coaches across the league to read those final scouting reports and prepare for the NHL Entry Draft.
This year the draft returns to its birthplace in Montreal, to be held the 26 and 27 of June at the Bell Centre, and is part of the schedule of events for the Montreal Canadiens Centennial Celebration.
The Pittsburgh Penguins proved this year finally, that a strong draft for several years can win you a Stanley Cup. Keep your chins up Pheonix, I know right now it seems that licking the bedrock in August is more fun than watching hockey, but it will pay off in Hamilton the end.
It is hard to reach the same hype for the NHL draft when players may take three or fours years to even make the NHL if at all, and even the top selections are only viable if placed on a good team with surrounding talent.
Check out this video to see what might be expected out of this years draft:
Buffalo Draft Facts:
Buffalo is the only non-Canadien city to have hosted the draft twice, Memorial Auditorium (1991) and Marine Midland Arena (Now HSBC Arena) (1998).
In the 1974 entry draft, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Punch Imlach deliberately selected an imaginary Japanese center, Taro Tsujimoto, supposedly of the Tokyo Katanas of the Japanese Ice Hockey League, in the 11th round (183rd overall). Only after weeks had passed did the league discover that Tsujimoto did not in fact exist. Imlach later revealed that he had played the prank because of his frustration with the excessive tedium and length of that year’s draft proceedings. Today, the league officially records the 183rd selection of the 1974 entry draft as an “invalid claim”.