NHL Draft Results & NHL Draft History
1981 NHL Entry Draft
The Only Source You Need for NHL Draft Results & NHL Draft History
PuckPedia is your reliable online source for NHL draft results, providing complete and accurate information on which players were picked by what team, at any given draft. Access results for all the Entry drafts held throughout NHL draft history, including Amateur Drafts and Expansion Drafts. Read through your favorite player’s draft class, review all the hits and misses from your favorite team, and check out the latest draft. Everything you need to know about NHL Drafts is here, at PuckPedia, your Ultimate Source for Hockey Info.
About The NHL Draft
The NHL Entry Draft is an assembly of NHL franchises, during which teams take turns selecting the rights to amateur ice hockey players. Players are selected from junior or collegiate leagues, as well as professional European league players who meet the draft requirements two to three months after the previous season has concluded. For North American players to be eligible, they should have reached the age of 18 on or before September 15 of the draft year, and should be below 20 years of age before December 31st. For European and international players, the age range is between 18 and 21 years of age.
NHL Draft History
The first NHL Draft was held on June 5, 1963 in Montreal. During this time, the conference was called the NHL Amateur Draft, because only players between 18 and 20 years of age from non-professional leagues were eligible. The title was eventually changed to NHL Entry Draft in 1980, when professional players (from age 18 to 20) from the defunct World Hockey Association (WHA) joined the league through the draft, with the exception of Wayne Gretzky, who came to the NHL undrafted as part of an agreement for WHA teams to bring over a limited number of players.
NHL Draft Lottery
Throughout NHL draft history, there have been many changes in the draft lottery format. From 1963 up to 1994, draft order was determined in reverse order of the team standings, so the team that finished last during the previous season was allowed to make the first pick. In 1995, the NHL changed the way the draft selections were awarded. All non-playoff teams would be entered in a lottery, and the winner would move up by as many as 4 picks. The chances of winning the lottery weighed heavily on the teams at the bottom of the regular season standings. In 2013, the NHL made another alteration to the draft lottery process. Instead of allowing the lottery winner to move up by 4 draft spots, the winner would now move all the way up to the number one spot. Recently, in 2016, the NHL draft lottery format was modified once again. This time, the top 3 picks were all drawn through the lottery, instead of simply holding a lottery for the first overall pick.
NHL Expansion Draft
Occasionally, whenever the NHL expanded, they would need to stock the new team with players through an expansion draft. During an NHL Expansion Draft, existing teams would submit a list of 'protected' players, who are not to be included in the draft, and the expansion teams would instead choose players who are not on the lists.
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