2017 NHL Draft Reportedly Will Be Held in Chicago for 1st Time in History

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Alan Diaz/Associated Press

Chicago has been the NHL's epicenter for the past several seasons due to the Blackhawks' dominance, and that will continue to be the case in 2017, as the Windy City has reportedly been tabbed to host the 2017 NHL draft.  

According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, an official announcement will be made Thursday, signaling the first time Chicago has ever been chosen to hold the event.

Chicago has become draft central in recent years, as it hosted the 2015 NFL draft and will do so once again in April.

The fact that the city has never welcomed the NHL draft into town is remarkable considering the Blackhawks are among the most successful franchises in NHL history with six Stanley Cup wins, including three in the past six seasons.

Some highly talented prospects figure to go off the board early in that draft with Nolan Patrick of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings and Gabriel Vilardi of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires leading the way.

It may not compare to the upcoming 2016 NHL draft in Buffalo, New York, in that regard since the likes of American superstar Auston Matthews and Finland's Jesse Puljujarvi are eligible to be selected, but it should be a special night in the history of Chicago hockey regardless.

The Blackhawks may not get a chance to select any of the top available players in 2017 assuming they continue to dominate the league for the foreseeable future, but that isn't likely to stop the hockey-crazed city of Chicago from providing an electric atmosphere.


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