The future stars of the NHL will be born on Friday and Saturday.
This isn't like other sports, where chances are draftees will never see the light of a major league day (baseball), where there are so many rounds you can't keep track of anyone (football) or where there are only a handful of prospects worthy of being drafted at all (basketball).
There are seven rounds in the NHL draft—just enough for you to get a glimpse at a variety of players but not so many that it's overwhelming—and an entire team's future can be born in those seven rounds. You'll see future all-stars, Hart Trophy winners and captains over the two days of the NHL Entry Draft.
For the first time since 1997, Pittsburgh will be the host city. You can watch first-round coverage on Friday, June 22 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, which will be airing TSN's coverage. In Canada, you can catch the coverage on TSN on Friday from 7 p.m. ET until the end of the first round.
Rounds 2-7 will be aired live on the NHL Network on Saturday, June 23 beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
For those of you who can't watch live, you don't have to miss a thing: You can listen on Sirius XM Radio, or you can follow NHL.com's Draft Tracker.
Scouting players for the NHL draft is the hardest draft to scout for, mostly because so many of the players are coming from abroad—Russia, Sweden, Finland—and scouts have rarely seen them play more than two or three times, according to Tony Gallagher of The Province. Without in-depth knowledge of these first-round prospects, scouts' evaluations rely on limited first-hand knowledge and a lot of guesswork.
That leaves GMs—most of whom have never seen their future stars play live—doing even more guesswork and hoping it pans out.
Talent can be unpredictable in any sport, but never more so than in the NHL draft. Fortunately, you don't have to miss a minute of the action, so you can be your own scout on Friday and Saturday.