If you love traveling to NHL drafts – or have no choice in the matter – you better get used to the Northeast (and the Atlantic Division). Pittsburgh is hosting the 2012 edition tonight and it was just announced that their division rivals in New Jersey will host 2013’s draft and Philadelphia will get it in 2014.
In case you’re not aware, that means Newark’s Prudential Center will be the 2013 draft’s headquarters while Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center host the event in 2014.
Next year’s draft will take place from June 28-29, so you can already practice excuses to get off work/plan your next vacation to scenic Newark, New Jersey now.* This will be the first time that New Jersey and Philadelphia gets to host a draft, respectively.
Here are some more fun details about the history of the draft, via the league’s press release:
The NHL Draft has grown significantly since the first such event was held in a hotel ballroom in Montreal in 1963. After 17 years of being conducted in various Montreal hotels and the League office in that city, the Draft sported a new look as the historic Montreal Forum played host to the event in 1980 in front of more than 2,000 spectators.
In 1985, the NHL Draft was held outside Montreal for the first time as a crowd of 7,000 filled the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Montreal again hosted the Draft in 1986, 1988, 1992 and 2009, and Toronto did the honors in 2002. NHL Draft events have been given an enthusiastic welcome in other cities across North America – including Detroit (1987), Bloomington, Minn. (1989), Vancouver (1990, 2006), Buffalo (1991, 1998), Quebec City (1993), Hartford (1994), Edmonton (1995), St. Louis (1996), Pittsburgh (1997, 2012), Boston (1999), Calgary (2000), Sunrise, Fla. (2001), Nashville (2003), Raleigh (2004), Ottawa (2005, 2008), Columbus (2007), Los Angeles (2010) and St. Paul (2011).
* Editor’s note: I grew up in New Jersey, so I’m allowed to make fun of it. That’s like, law, or something.