In a press conference today, the National Hockey League announced the 2017 NHL Draft will indeed be held in Chicago, IL, the home of the Chicago Blackhawks. This will be the first time the NHL Draft has been hosted in Chicago and will come during the NHL’s centennial.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz and Team President John McDonough made the announcement Thursday afternoon at the United Center, only a couple hours before the Blackhawks take on the Stars in tonight’s matchup. In the 53-year history of the NHL Draft, Chicago has never hosted it.  The 2016 draft will be held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY on June 24-25.

With 2017 being the NHL’s centennial, it makes for having an NHL event in an Original Six City that much more exciting. This historical element is sure to bring in a huge crown when Chicago hosts the 2017 draft. Not to mention the storied history that already exists with the Blackhawks at the Chicago Stadium and their success at the United Center that will be brought to light even more when the draft is held here.

The NHL Draft provides hockey fans with a unique opportunity to witness the official start for many of the League’s future stars. For instance, the Blackhawks Patrick Kane was a No. 1 selection in 2007! We look forward to seeing what is in store for the 2017 NHL Draft and what future stars will shine, but most importantly, getting to experience a moment in history we will always remember in Chicago—the first time the draft is held in our beautiful city.

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