The NHL entry draft, more commonly known as the NHL draft, is the annual process by which NHL teams select eligible amateur players and assign them to rosters. The draft, which has been held annually since 1963, is held in June, following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup finals. After years of being a two-day event, the 2013 NHL draft will be conducted in a single day, June 30 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
The first NHL draft was held in 1963 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Under the rules of that draft, teams could select any amateur player under the age of 20. Through the 1960s, because of the small size of the league, the draft was a short affair. Only 21 total players were selected in the first draft, with no more than 24 being selected annually through 1968.
In 1969, the NHL ended its direct sponsorship of junior hockey and expanded the draft to 10 rounds, leading to a record 84 players being selected. The draft grew again the following year, to 13 rounds and 115 total selections -- though the St. Louis Blues were the only team to make a selection following the ninth round. Much like the NFL, in the early years of the NHL draft, there was no set number of rounds; the draft continued until all teams passed on their picks.
In 1979, what had previously been an amateur draft was changed to an "entry" draft, reflecting a change that allowed teams to select players who had previous professional experience in another league. The move was made in reaction to the folding of the WHA. The league also lowered the minimum draft age from 19 to 18, creating an expanded draft class in the process, one that is generally considered among the best in NHL history. A year later, the NHL standardized the rules so that any player from the ages of 18 and 20 is eligible to be drafted.
In 1980, the draft was opened to the public and hosted at an NHL arena -- the Montreal Forum -- for the first time. It has been hosted at an arena every year since, with the exception of 2005, when the draft was held just days after the season-long NHL lockout ended. The draft moved outside of Montreal for the first time in 1985, when it was hosted in Toronto. As of 2012, more than half the league's franchises have hosted the draft, including the Carolina Hurricanes, who've hosted in their current incarnation as well as at their previous home in Hartford.
The NHL began regularly using a two-day format for the draft in 2000. The draft was first televised in 1984 by the CBC, and began being televised in the United States in 1989. The first round of the draft is currently televised in primetime by NBC Sports Network, with the second day being televised by the NHL Network. Due to the lockout and the late start to the 2012-13 season, the 2013 draft will be held on a single day, June 30.
Currently, NHL rules state that any player who will be 18 years old by Sept. 14 in the year of the draft, and will not be older than 20 by Dec. 31 in the year of the draft, is eligible for selection in that year's entry draft. Any player who has been drafted twice and not signed cannot be drafted a third time.
Additionally, non-North American players 21 and older are eligible to be drafted.
The NHL sets the order of the draft using the reverse order of how the teams finished the preceding season. A weighted draft lottery is held among the non-playoff teams, with a single team being selected as the lottery winner. The winning team can move up a maximum of four spots, meaning only the five worst finishers in a season are able to get the No. 1 overall pick. Only one lottery selection is made, unlike the NBA's system where the top three picks are set via the lottery.
The teams that make the playoffs are then ordered by their playoff results. The team that wins the Stanley Cup picks 30th, the runner-up picks 29th and the two conference finalists pick 27th and 28th (with the order being decided by regular-season record). Any remaining division winners are then slotted, followed by the rest of the playoff field, in reverse order of regular-season record.
If a team fails to sign its first-round pick, it is awarded the corresponding pick in the second round in the following draft.
Year-by-year No. 1 overall picks
|2012||Nail Yakupov||Forward||Edmonton||Sarnia (OHL)|
|2011||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Forward||Edmonton||Red Deer (WHL)|
|2010||Taylor Hall||Forward||Edmonton||Windsor (OHL)|
|2009||John Tavares||Forward||N.Y. Islanders||London (OHL)|
|2008||Steven Stamkos||F||Tampa Bay||Sarnia (OHL)|
|2007||Patrick Kane||F||Blackhawks||London (OHL)|
|2005||Sidney Crosby||C||Penguins||Rimouski (QMJHL)|
|2004||Alexander Ovechkin||LW||Capitals||Dynamo Moscow|
|2003||Marc-Andre Fleury||G||Pittsburgh||Cape Breton (QMJHL)|
|2002||Rick Nash||LW||Columbus||London (OHL)|
|2001||Ilya Kovalchuk||RW||Atlanta||Spartak (Russia)|
|2000||Rick DiPietro||G||N.Y. Islanders||Boston U. (Hockey East)|
|1999||Patrik Stefan||C||Atlanta||Long Beach (IHL)|
|1998||Vincent Lecavalier||C||Tampa Bay||Rimouski (QMJHL)|
|1997||Joe Thornton||C||Boston||Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)|
|1996||Chris Phillips||D||Ottawa||Prince Albert (WHL)|
|1995||Bryan Berard||D||Ottawa||Detroit (OHL)|
|1994||Ed Jovanovski||D||Florida||Windsor (OHL)|
|1993||Alexandre Daigle||C||Ottawa||Victoriaville (QMJHL)|
|1992||Roman Hamrlik||D||Tampa Bay||ZPS Zin (CZE)|
|1991||Eric Lindros||C||Quebec||Oshawa (OHL)|
|1990||Owen Nolan||LW||Quebec||Cornwall (OHL)|
|1989||Mats Sundin||LW||Quebec||Nacka (Sweden)|
|1988||Mike Modano||C||Minnesota||Prince Albert (WHL)|
|1987||Pierre Turgeon||C||Buffalo||Granby (QMJHL)|
|1986||Joe Murphy||C||Detroit||Michigan State (CCHA)|
|1985||Wendel Clark||LW/D||Toronto||Saskatoon (WHL)|
|1984||Mario Lemieux||C||Pittsburgh||Laval (QMJHL)|
|1983||Brian Lawton||C||Minnesota||Mt. St. Charles HS|
|1982||Gord Kluzak||D||Boston||Billings (WHL)|
|1981||Dale Hawerchuk||C||Winnipeg||Corwall (OHL)|
|1980||Doug Wickenheiser||C||Montreal||Regina (WHL)|
|1979||Rob Ramage||D||Colorado||London (OHA)|
|1978||Bobby Smith||C||Minnesota||Ottawa (OHA)|
|1977||Dale McCourt||C||Detroit||St. Catharines (OHA)|
|1976||Rick Green||D||Washington||London (OHA)|
|1975||Mel Bridgman||C||Philadelphia||Victoria (WCHL)|
|1974||Greg Joly||D||Washington||Regina (WCHL)|
|1973||Denis Potvin||D||N.Y. Islanders||Ottawa (OHA)|
|1972||Billy Harris||LW||N.Y. Islanders||Toronto (OHA)|
|1971||Guy Lafleur||LW||Montreal||Quebec (QJHL)|
|1970||Gilbert Perreault||C||Buffalo||Montreal (OHA)|
|1969||Rejean Houle||LW||Montreal||Montreal (OHA)|
|1968||Michael Plasse||G||Montreal||Drummondville (QJHL)|
|1967||Rick Pagnutti||D||Los Angeles||Garson-Falconbridge (NOJHL)|
|1966||Barry Gibbs||D||Boston||Estevan (SJHL)|
|1965||Andre Veilleux||RW||N.Y. Rangers||Montreal (LHJAA)|
|1964||Claude Gauthier||RW||Detroit||Rosemount (SAAAMHL)|
|1963||Garry Monahan||C||Montreal||St. Michael's (MetJHL)|
NHL DRAFT QUICK FACTS
2013 NHL Draft
2013 site: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
2013 DRAFT -- FIRST-ROUND ORDER
|1. Colorado||Nathan MacKinnon|
|2. Florida||Aleksander Barkov|
|3. Tampa Bay||Jonathan Drouin|
|4. Nashville||Seth Jones|
|5. Carolina||Elias Lindholm|
|6. Calgary||Sean Monahan|
|7. Edmonton||Darnell Nurse|
|8. Buffalo||Rasmus Ristolainen|
|9. New Jersey||Bo Horvat|
|10. Dallas||Valeri Nichushkin|
|11. Philadelphia||Samuel Morin|
|12. Phoenix||Max Domi|
|13. Winnipeg||Josh Morrissey|
|14. Columbus||Alexander Wennberg|
|15. N.Y. Islanders||Ryan Pulock|
|17. Ottawa||Curtis Lazar|
|18. Detroit||Mirco Mueller|
|21. Toronto||Frederik Gauthier|
|22. Calgary||Emile Poirier|
|23. Washington||Andre Burakowsky|
|24. Vancouver||Hunter Shinkaruk|
|25. Montreal||Michael McCarron|
|26. Anaheim||Shea Theodore|
|30. Chicago||Ryan Hartman|