NHL Entry Draft
The NHL Entry Draft , until 1978 NHL Amateur Draft , is an event of the NHL ice hockey league, at which the teams of the league can acquire rights to available amateur and youth players ( English to draft = convene).
The first NHL Amateur Draft took place on June 5, 1963 in Montreal at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. All amateur players who were 17 years of age and older and did not yet have a contract with a professional team could be signed.
In 1969 there was a rule change so that every amateur player under the age of 20 could be signed.
In 1979 the "Amateur Draft" was renamed "Entry Draft" so that players who had already played for a professional team outside of the NHL could be signed. This step made it easier for players to join the recently disbanded WHA .
From 1980, only 18 to 20-year-old North American players could be committed. For Europeans, the upper age limit remained open.
In the same year the Entry Draft also became a public event. Previously, Entry Drafts were held behind closed doors in hotels or the NHL office in Montreal. The 1980 NHL Entry Draft took place at the Montreal Forum and attracted 2,500 fans.
In 1985, the Entry Draft took place for the first time outside of Montreal, namely in Toronto . Canadian television began broadcasting the event back in 1984 ; In 1989, the USA followed suit .
From 1986 to 1994, in addition to the Entry Draft, the NHL Supplemental Draft was also carried out, in which college players could be drawn who were not eligible for the Entry Draft.
The NHL consists of 31 teams. In each round of the draft, each team has a so-called draft pick . This means that you can secure the rights to one player per round. However, the teams can hand over their draft picks to other teams in transfer transactions and also acquire draft picks from other teams, so that one transfer can have no or several draft picks in one round.
The order in the draft basically corresponds to the reversed final table of a season. So the worst team has the first choice in the draft and the best the last. The draft lottery was introduced to prevent teams from deliberately losing and thereby achieving a worse placement because they no longer have a chance of the play-offs .
The draft lottery
The draft lottery takes place shortly after the regular season. In the draft lottery are the 14 teams that missed the play-offs. The worst team before the lottery is ranked 1 and the best team is ranked 14th in the draft order. As of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the winner of the lottery will automatically receive the “first overall” draft pick, meaning that they can be the first team to choose.
This is a weighted lottery so that the worst team of the season has the best chance of getting the first draft pick. There are 14 balls in a drum, numbered from 1 to 14. Four balls are drawn, which then result in a number combination (e.g. 2-12-10-7), whereby the order of the numbers does not matter. There are 1001 different combinations of numbers, but the combination 11-12-13-14 is not counted, so there are 1000 possible winning combinations. The combinations are distributed among the teams. The team ranked first has the most with 250 combinations:
- 250 combinations (25% chance to win the lottery)
- 188 combinations (18.8%)
- 142 combinations (14.2%)
- 107 combinations (10.7%)
- 81 combinations (8.1%)
- 62 combinations (6.2%)
- 47 combinations (4.7%)
- 36 combinations (3.6%)
- 27 combinations (2.7%)
- 21 combinations (2.1%)
- 15 combinations (1.5%)
- 11 combinations (1.1%)
- 8 combinations (0.8%)
- 5 combinations (0.5%)
The team that has the correct combination of numbers is now promoted to first place.
Until the 2012 NHL Entry Draft , the rule was that the team that wins the lottery can only improve by up to four places in the draft order. So only the first five teams had the chance to get the first draft pick. With the 2012/13 season this regulation was finally abolished.
In 2005, when the entire NHL season was canceled due to the lockout , all 30 teams were in a modified lottery. See NHL Entry Draft 2005 .
Thus the draft order of the 14 prematurely eliminated teams is determined. The remainder of the draft order until 2006 also consisted almost exclusively of the placements in the regular season. The play-off result only affected the team that won the Stanley Cup , as they were placed in 30th position. Since the NHL Entry Draft in 2007 , the draft positions of the teams that qualify for the play-offs have been based somewhat more on the success of the teams in the final round. The Stanley Cup finalist is in 29th position, the losing teams in the Conference Finals follow before:
|1st to 14th||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|15th to 26th||Play-off participants eliminated in the first two rounds|
|27. and 28.||Conference Finals finalists|
|29||Stanley Cup finalist|
|30th||Stanley Cup winner|
The placements in the regular season are decisive for the draft order. In places 15 to 26, the “normal” play-off participants come first, then the division winners. The worst team receives the best draft position. This rule also decides between places 27 and 28.
The order is the same in each round, but draft picks are often transferred to other teams in swap deals before the draft. The team that receives a draft pick from another team has an additional option to select a player. It may well be that a team can choose a player twice and more often in a round because they have acquired draft picks in transfers.
Regulation until 2006
By 2006, the Stanley Cup winner was placed 30th in the order. In front of him stood the division winners of the regular season. The remaining play-off participants started from 15th place downwards.
|1st to 14th||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|15. to 24./25.||Play-off participants|
|25./26. until 29.||Play-off participants and division winners|
|30th||Stanley Cup winner|
About two months before the draft, the NHL publishes rankings of the players who are available for election. There are four rankings in total: Outfield North America, Outfield Europe, Goalkeeper North America, and Goalkeeper Europe. The rankings make it easier for the teams to choose from more than 250 players and show who are the greatest talents from the NHL's perspective.
The so-called "combine" takes place three to four weeks before the draft. This is an event that brings together the world's most valued draftsmen and women to present themselves to the NHL teams. Those responsible for the teams have the opportunity to talk to the talents to find out whether the player is a good fit for the team. In addition, players must undergo medical examinations and fitness tests.
The Entry Draft takes place a few days after the Stanley Cup Final. The main responsible persons of all teams, the greatest talents and many fans come together. Draft parties are held all over North America.
After the NHL commissioner has given an opening speech, the draft begins. In turn, the general manager of each team or another representative of the team goes on stage and announces the choice of the team. The selected player is asked to go on stage, pulls on his new team's jersey, and photos are taken.
After the draft
If a player has been signed by a team, he belongs to the team's "system". But that's not a guarantee that he will ever play in the NHL. Many young players often stay with their original team for a year or more to develop, or continue to college to graduate.
Usually the most hopeful signed players are invited by their team to the training camp about a month before the start of the NHL season, where it is decided whether they will join the NHL roster, be slowly introduced to the NHL on a farm team , or whether they will be returned to their original team because they haven't got the class to play in North America.
The contracted player may not play for any other NHL team as long as the team that selected him owns the rights to him. If a team loses the rights to a player because they have not signed him within three years, the team receives compensation in the form of a draft pick.
- Taro Tsujimoto
- With Taro Tsujimoto, the star striker of the Tokyo Katanas from the Japanese ice hockey league, the first Japanese in the history of the ice hockey draft was selected by the Buffalo Sabers in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft . But just a few weeks later, it turned out that the player and the team didn't even exist. General Manager Punch Imlach had taken the liberty of joking that he didn't think much of the draft system. He'd simply picked a name from Buffalo 's phone book and selected the fictional player in the 13th round of the Entry Draft. The team name Tokyo Katanas translates into English as Tokyo Sabers. However, by the time the joke was cleared up, the NHL had already made the election of Taro Tsujimoto official and it had been reported in the media, including the respected The Hockey News . Tsujimoto therefore appeared in several official NHL record books that were published shortly after the draft. Only then did the NHL declare Tsujimoto's election to be an invalid draft pick.
Tops and flops
Often players are signed in the first round, and you can already see the new Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky in them . And the NHL scouts also rate these players as great talents. But in the end they turn out to be big disappointments for the team, such as B .:
- 1994 Jason Bonsignore (1st round, 4th position) - Completed 79 NHL games, could not prevail
- 1996 Alexander Wolchkov (1st round, 4th position) - only played three games in the NHL, returned to Russia
- 1997 Matt Zultek (1st round, 15th position) - The Kings let the rights to him forfeit and he was drafted again two years later at position 56. He did not make the jump into the NHL and spent most of his career in the ECHL .
- 1999 Pavel Brendl (1st round, 4th position) - In four seasons he only played 78 games and achieved only 22 points
- 2000 Brent Krahn (1st round, 9th position) - Was used in a single NHL game and spent most of his career in the AHL
- 2002 Petr Tatícek (1st round, 9th position) - Only played three games in the NHL and later moved back to Europe
But there are also often young players who are absolutely underestimated and are therefore only elected in one of the last rounds of the draft or do not even get into the draft. B .:
- 1975 Joe Mullen (not drafted) - 1989, 1991 and 1992: Stanley Cup winner, two-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy , member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1984 Brett Hull (6th round, 117th position) - 1999 and 2002: Stanley Cup winner, 1991 Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award, Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1984 Luc Robitaille (9th round, 179th position) - Calder Memorial Trophy 1987 as the best newcomer to the league; 1,431 games in the NHL; holds the records as the left winger with the most goals and points in the NHL; Stanley Cup winner and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1988 Ed Belfour (not drafted) - Stanley Cup winner, two-time Vezina Trophy , four-time William M. Jennings Trophy , Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1992 Nikolai Chabibulin (9th round, 204th position) - 2004: Stanley Cup winner
- 1993 John Madden (not drafted) - 2000, 2003 and 2010: Stanley Cup winner; Frank J. Selke Trophy 2001
- 1994 Daniel Alfredsson (6th round, 133rd position) - 1996: Calder Memorial Trophy
- 1994 Tim Thomas (9th round, 217th position) - 2009, 2011: Vezina Trophy ; Stanley Cup winner and Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the 2011 play-offs
- 1998 Pawel Dazjuk (6th round, 171st position) - 2002, 2008: Stanley Cup winner, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- 1998 Martin St. Louis (not drafted) - 2004: Stanley Cup winner, winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Award for best player in the NHL; two-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winners
- 1999 Brian Rafalski (not drafted) - 2000, 2003 and 2008: Stanley Cup winner
- 2000 Henrik Lundqvist (7th round, 205th position) - 2012: Vezina Trophy
Result of the draft lottery since 1995
|year||Worst team||Lottery winner||First draft pick|
|1995 a||Ottawa Senators||Los Angeles Kings||Ottawa Senators|
|1996||Ottawa Senators||Ottawa Senators||Ottawa Senators|
|1997||Boston Bruins||Boston Bruins||Boston Bruins|
|1998||Tampa Bay Lightning||Tampa Bay Lightning||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|1999 b||Tampa Bay Lightning||Chicago Blackhawks||Atlanta Thrashers|
|2000||Atlanta Thrashers||New York Islanders||New York Islanders|
|2001||New York Islanders||Atlanta Thrashers||Atlanta Thrashers|
|2002 c||Atlanta Thrashers||Florida panthers||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|2003 c||Carolina Hurricanes||Florida panthers||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|2004||Pittsburgh Penguins||Washington Capitals||Washington Capitals|
|2005 d||-||Pittsburgh Penguins||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|2006||St. Louis Blues||St. Louis Blues||St. Louis Blues|
|2007||Philadelphia Flyers||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Blackhawks|
|2008||Tampa Bay Lightning||Tampa Bay Lightning||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|2009||New York Islanders||New York Islanders||New York Islanders|
|2010||Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton Oilers|
|2011 e||Edmonton Oilers||New Jersey Devils||Edmonton Oilers|
|2012||Columbus Blue Jackets||Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton Oilers|
|2013||Florida panthers||Colorado Avalanche||Colorado Avalanche|
|2014||Buffalo Sabers||Florida panthers||Florida panthers|
|2015||Buffalo Sabers||Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton Oilers|
|2016||Toronto Maple Leafs||Toronto Maple Leafs||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|2017||Colorado Avalanche||New Jersey Devils||New Jersey Devils|
|2018||Buffalo Sabers||Buffalo Sabers||Buffalo Sabers|
|2019||Ottawa Senators||New Jersey Devils||New Jersey Devils|
- The first American to be drafted in first place was Brian Lawton in 1983 . He came to the Minnesota North Stars .
- In 1989, Mats Sundin became the first European to be drafted in first place. The Québec Nordiques drafted it .
- Rick DiPietro was the first to be drafted by the New York Islanders in 2000, making him the first goalkeeper to do so.
- The highest seeded German player is Leon Draisaitl , who was selected in 2014 in 3rd place by the Edmonton Oilers .
- The highest picked Swiss is Nico Hischier , who was selected in 2017 at position 1 by the New Jersey Devils .
- Thomas Vanek was drafted at position 5 by the Buffalo Sabers in 2003 and thus higher than any other Austrian.
Origin of the selected players
The table shows which leagues the players selected since 1969 come from. The Western Hockey League , the Québec Major Junior Hockey League , the Ontario Hockey League , US Colleges ( NCAA ), US High Schools (USHS) and international players are listed. Under "Others" you will find the players who were seeded from another North American league that has existed since 1969. Non-North American players who were playing on a North American team at the time of drafting will be assigned to that league and will not be considered international players.
- Entry Draft information on the NHL website