Chicago to host 2017 NHL Draft

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 2017 NHL draft will be held in Chicago, the first time the city has hosted a hockey league draft.

The choice was made official at a news conference Thursday afternoon at the United Center. The news conference featured NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, team president John McDonough, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Blackhawks TV commentator Eddie Olczyk.

The 2016 NHL draft will be held in Buffalo, N.Y.

Chicago hosted its first NFL Draft in the spring of 2015.

The draft will be held over two days at the United Center on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, 2017.

The 2017 event will mark the first time the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago host the NHL Draft. The mayor, commissioner and Rocky Wertz were watching the Hawks in Tampa last June when they first made the push for the draft, they revealed Thursday.

Ticket distribution plans, related events and other draft details will be announced at a later date.

Emanuel said no public money will be used to finance the event, and it will have a huge economic impact on the city. He said it will be similar approach to the one for the NFL draft, which will be held in Chicago this year for the second straight year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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