NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Thursday that the 2017 NHL Draft will take place in Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune's Brian Cassella showed Bettman's announcement:
Commissioner Gary Bettman awards the 2017 NHL Draft to..... Chicago pic.twitter.com/bLr1q6NLXs— Brian Cassella (@briancassella) February 11, 2016
It is the first time in league history that the draft will take place in the Windy City.
It's surprising that the home of an NHL original six franchise hasn't hosted a draft since it began in 1963. But it isn't uncommon. While Montreal has hosted the draft 26 times, Toronto has had it twice while Boston and Detroit have had it once each.
New York City has never hosted a draft but Buffalo, a non-original six city which has the draft in 2016, will be hosting the event for the third time ever this summer.
This will be the second draft in over a year's span that Chicago will host. The NFL Draft will be taking place there in April of this year.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is confident that the city will be a great venue for the event as he told the Chicago Tribune.
"The city is going to love it," Shaw said. "It’s a big hockey town now and anyone that’s a part of the draft is going to have a great time in Chicago."
NHL.com's Patrick Williams agreed:
Something tells me that an NHL Draft in Chicago will be a very popular destination for hockey people and fans alike. Just a hunch.— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) February 11, 2016
The team and their fans have certainly built a strong hockey reputation in the city as their home, which is shared with the NBA's Chicago Bulls, of the United Center has been nicknamed the "Madhouse on Madison."
Chicago has been at the epicenter of hockey over the past six seasons. Since 2009, they have won three Stanley Cups and hosted two outdoor hockey games in the 2009 Winter Classic and a 2014 Stadium Series Game.
It's only fitting that one of the most successful hockey franchises of the past decade gets to host one of hockey's biggest offseason events.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com