It’s official — Buffalo will host the 2016 NHL Entry Draft

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Buffalo today to announce that the Sabres would, indeed, host the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

“Awarding the 2016 National Hockey League Draft to Buffalo honors the passion of its fans for our sport and reflects the commitment of Terry and Kim Pegula to the Sabres and to Buffalo,” Bettman said in a release. “We are delighted our fans will have the opportunity to welcome the incoming class of outstanding players at First Niagara Center, which is one of the hockey world’s top event destinations.”

“This is yet another proud day for our organization and Western New York,” said Sabres president Ted Black. “The NHL Draft represents the league’s bright future and no place has a brighter hockey future than Buffalo. We’re eager to work with the NHL to showcase its next generation of players and provide a first-class venue for one of the hockey world’s premier events.”

The Sabres have hosted the draft twice before, in 1991 and 1998.

The 2016 draft could be a proud one for American hockey, with the likes of Auston Matthews, Luke Kirwan and Max Jones among those expected to be selected early.

The two-day event will take place on Friday, June 24th, 2016, and Saturday, the 25th.