June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on stage at the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Draft: When It Started

Tomorrow the NHL will hold its annual Entry Draft. Teams will attempt to build for their future. This year is sure to be one of the craziest drafts to date. With the salary cup dropping, and buy-outs going on teams are in an all out frenzy to improve their chances of winning the Stanley Cup in 2013-2014.

The first draft was held in 1963, and has been held every year since. The NHL Entry Draft was called 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 first Draft was held 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 ease the absorption of players from the defunct WHA. 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.( National Hockey League)”

No matter what pick your team has, or how they finished last year Sunday marks the start of the ” there’s always next year” season. While the off seasons have gotten shorter and shorter; so has the amount of time it take to turn around a team. Tomorrow will bring some fans and teams alike one step closer to the winning the Stanley Cup.

Did You Know? Garry Monahan was the very first pick of the NHL’s first ever draft. He was picked by the Montreal Canadiens .


Tags: 2013 NHL Entry Draft Montreal Canadiens NHL Draft

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