Next year’s NHL Draft will be held in Montreal

Next year’s NHL Draft will be held in Montreal

For the first time since 2009, the NHL Draft is coming back to Montreal.

The NHL announced Friday that the 2022 NHL Draft will be held at the Bell Centre on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 with Round 1 being held on the first day and Rounds 2-7 on the second day.

The 2020 NHL Draft was scheduled to be held in Montreal but it ended up being done virtually instead because of COVID-19 and it was the same situation last year. Next year will mark the 27th time the draft will be held in Montreal.

“We are proud to announce that, once again, we are conducting our draft in front of the great fans of the Montreal Canadiens,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Montreal, the site of the first NHL Draft in 1963, is a wonderful place to bring the NHL family together and to focus on the future of our game as our clubs call the names of top prospects from around the world. We also thank Geoff Molson and the entire Canadiens organization for their cooperation and support while we needed to conduct the draft remotely the past two years.”

The 1963 NHL Draft was held at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel and the Canadiens selected centre Garry Monahan with the No. 1 overall pick.

Monahan would only play 14 games with the Canadiens before being traded, along with defenceman Doug Piper, to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenceman Bart Crashley and centre Pete Mahovlich, who was the No. 2 overall pick at the 1963 draft. Monahan would go on to play 12 seasons in the NHL, including stints with the Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. Mahovlich would spend nine of his 16 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, winning four Stanley Cups.

At the 2009 NHL Draft, which was held at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens selected forward Louis Leblanc with their first-round pick (18th overall). Leblanc only played two seasons in the NHL, posting 5-5-10 totals in 50 games with the Canadiens. The No. 1 overall pick in 2009 was centre John Tavares, who went to the New York Islanders.

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