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NHL Draft History

There was once a time where the NHL hockey draft was nothing more than a small group of hockey executives, and the scouts making decisions on which they were going to take from the draft pool of young talent. Today this process is far broader in scope, and is viewed by hockey fans all over the world. With countries such as Russia, Sweden, and Finland all producing wonderful hockey talents the idea of the North American kids getting the entire spotlight is a thing of the past.As the armature NHL draft was introduced, so was the elimination of member clubs, sponsoring players for their team. This was gotten rid of to allow for the complete and entire league to have fair shot at all the talented kids available.

The basic requirements for draft are relatively simple; the amateur must reach their 17th birthday before the august prior to the draft, in order to be placed in the pool for that upcoming year. If they do not meet this requirement, they will be placed back into the system to which they came from and will have to wait for the following draft.The system was developed by a sir Clarence Campbell and it went as follows, the last place team at the end of the season will be allowed to make the first pick from the pool, and the chain will work its way up to the top seeded team in the league. What this in turn does is allow for all small market teams to have an opportunity to acquire a star player for their club. Making the league a more balanced one. There are however, many circumstances where teams will trade up or down the scale of available picks to suit their specific needs as an organization.

This can come in the way of draft order swap, or trading a current roster player to the team with the higher pick.The very first NHL draft was held on June 5th 1963,in the Queen Elisabeth Hotel in Montreal Quebec Canada. Any player that was not already sponsored by an NHL club was eligible to be in the draft. It was a center man by the name of Garry Monahan, from the St Michael's juveniles of Toronto that was taken first overall in that years draft. The Montreal Canadiens selected him.


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