The NHL Entry Draft is an annual meeting in which every franchise of the National Hockey League (NHL) systematically select the rights to available amateur ice hockey players who meet draft eligibility requirements (North American players 18–20 years old and Europeans of all ages entering league for the first time. All others are not eligible and must enter the league as unrestricted free agents). The NHL Entry Draft is held once every year, generally within two to three months after the conclusion of the previous season. During the draft, teams take turns selecting amateur players from junior, collegiate, or European leagues.
The first draft was held in 1963, and has been held every year since. The NHL Entry Draft was known as the "NHL Amateur Draft" up until 1979. The entry draft has only been a public event since 1980, and a televised event since 1984.
The National Hockey League announced changes to its Draft Lottery for 2016, a weighted system implemented and utilized to determine the order of selection in the first round of the NHL Draft for the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the Clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams). The 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the Clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams) are entered into the annual NHL Draft Lottery, with odds determined by reverse order of regular season standings.
Beginning in 2016, the Draft Lottery will be utilized to assign the top three drafting slots in the NHL Draft, an expansion over previous years when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.
Three draws will be held: the 1st Lottery draw will determine the Club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery draw will determine the Club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery draw will determine the club selecting third overall.
As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall.
The allocation of odds for the 1st Lottery draw will be the same as outlined above for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery draw, based on which Club wins the 1st Lottery draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery draw, based on which Club wins the 2nd Lottery draw.
The 11 Clubs not selected in the Draft Lottery will be assigned NHL Draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular-season points.
Perhaps, the best playmaker in the draft, undersized Yamamoto is an ultra-skilled winger who can make plays develop out of nothing and always knows where his linemates are.
Robert Thomas is another name to remember coming out of the Knights program. He is a smooth playmaking Centre who has good speed and a real soft touch with the puck. Always thinking pass first and has tripled his point production from last season.
JuusoValimaki was new to the WHL and the Americans last season and managed to put up seven goals and 32 points in 56 games. His leadership is quite noticeable on the ice as he communicates well and shows emotion at both ends of the ice.
Son of NHL defenceman Adam Foote, Callan Foote is yet another talented defenceman ready to come out of the Kelowna Rockets system. Foote raised many eyebrows in his underage season not only for his defensive play, but his offensive skills as well by posting 36 points in 71 games.
Nick Suzuki is a legitimate scoring threat every time he sets foot on the ice. Tremendous puck handler who does a great job of keeping control of the puck while flying at top speed.
Gabriel Vilardi has established himself as a workhorse who is ultra-competitive in the offensive zone. He has deceptive speed and an easy long stride to stay ahead of the defenceman.
A real competitor who has many above average aspects and skills to his game, Owen Tippett’s most highly rated skill is his ability to shoot the puck. One of the hardest shooters in the draft with a lightning quick release, he doesn’t always the accuracy behind his shot.
Ultra-competitive Michael Rasmussen is a high intensity, skilled power forward who has shown flashes of a potential top 10 pick this season. He has a great combination of power and skill.
Cody Glass is a competitor and enjoyed a huge growth spurt since the end of last season which saw him grow two inches and put on nearly 25 pounds. It has showed as he is among the league leaders in the WHL.
Cale Makar has really started to turn heads with his offensive capability. Likes to skate the puck deep into the offensive zone and create offence. Possesses a real heavy, hard wrist and likes to shoot often from between the circles
Highly touted prospect Nico Hischier was one of the best at the recent Ivan Hlinka tournament. He is a very creative and effective centreman who has very good hockey sense and has the potential to be a deadly power play playmaker.
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