Florida is set to host the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, its first since 2001, according to the Miami Herald.
Per the Herald’s George Richards, Florida getting the draft was part of an agreement with the NHL, a return gesture toward Broward County for paying for the BB&T Center’s new scoreboard. Richards also reported the Panthers were promised a future All-Star Game as well (there won’t be one this year due to Olympic participation; Columbus has already been awarded the ’15 ASG.)
The last time the Florida hosted a draft was in 2001, as mentioned above. The event was held at BB&T — then known as the National Car Rental Center — and the Panthers selected Stephen Weiss with the fourth overall pick. Ilya Kovalchuk went No. 1 to Atlanta.
As for the ’15 Draft, OHL Erie scoring sensation Conor McDavid is projected to be the No. 1 overall selection. McDavid recently became the sixth 16-year-old to represent Canada at the World Juniors, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, Jay Bouwmeester, Jason Spezza and Eric Lindros.