The NHL Entry Draft
: Repêchage d'entrée dans la LNH
) is an annual meeting in which every franchise of the National Hockey League
(NHL) systematically select the rights to available ice hockey
players who meet draft eligibility requirements (North American players 18–20 years old and European/international players 18–21 years old; all others enter 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
or collegiate leagues and professional players from 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
until 1979. The entry draft has only been a public event since 1980, and a televised event since 1984. Up to 1994, the order was solely determined by the standings at the end of the regular season. In 1995, the NHL Draft Lottery
was introduced where only teams who had missed the playoffs could participate. The one lottery winner would move up the draft order a maximum of four places, meaning only the top five-placed teams could pick first in the draft, and no team in the non-playoff group could move down more than one place. The chances of winning the lottery were weighted towards the teams at the bottom of the regular season standings. Beginning in 2013, the limit of moving up a maximum of four places in the draft order was eliminated, so the lottery winner would automatically receive the first overall pick, and any teams above it in the draft order would still move down one spot. Read more...