Hockey fans around the Delaware Valley are already well aware that the 2014 NHL Entry Draft is coming to the Wells Fargo Center for the first time during the last weekend of June.
What those hockey fans around the Delaware Valley may not know is that the Flyers won’t be putting tickets for the draft on sale to the general public.
Instead, tickets will be handed out for free (FREE!) on a first-come, first served basis through an online lottery to be held Friday afternoon on the Flyers’ website. The team is asking those interested in attending to head over to the site and enter.
So if you were planning on heading down to the box office, calling Ticketmaster or filling out a mail order form, sorry, but cue the Price Is Right losing horn.
Do people still actually order tickets any of those ways? Anyway, let’s get back on track.
The draft itself is divided over two days with the first round taking place on Friday night June 27th. The remaining six rounds will take place during the day on Saturday June 28th.
By virtue of winning the NHL Draft Lottery, the Florida Panthers hold the first-overall pick. They’ll be followed by the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders to round out the top five.
As of now, the Flyers hold the 17th pick in the first round but that is subject to change with a trade or two or ten, of course.
Both the Flyers’ third and fourth-round picks this year belong to the Islanders via the Andrew MacDonald and Mark Streit trades, respectively. But they’ll gain a third-round pick from the Boston Bruins from the Andrej Meszaros trade.
As far as the quality of the draft is concerned, it’s kind a down, in-between year for prospects. Think along the lines of how last year’s NBA draft was a year before the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were eligible.
There was a wealth of talent available at last year’s NHL Draft with players like Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Nashville’s Seth Jones. And there are two projected superstars coming next year in Conor MacDavid and Jack Eichel.
No prospect this year really seems projected to be on the levels of those players.
NHL Central Scouting has center Sam Bennett of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs ranked as the top prospect this year.
We’ll obviously have more Flyers-specific draft coverage after the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the days and weeks leading up to the event.
Oh, and yes, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be at the draft in front of the crowd and ready for you to boo out of the building as if he’s your favorite pro wrestling villain. That opportunity itself should have you running to the Flyers’ site toput your name in the ticket lottery.