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2017 NHL Entry Draft TV Listings, Information And More

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Jun 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman talk with media during media day the day before the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman talk with media during media day the day before the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Amid wild news involving the Chicago Blackhawks, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will roll on beginning tonight at the United Center

The Chicago Blackhawks may have tried to steal the spotlight today with multiple big-name trades, but the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will go on as scheduled beginning tonight at the United Center.

While this draft isn’t as highly anticipated as the previous two, in which Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid went to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers, respectively, there’s still plenty of intrigue.

Among items worth noting is, of course, who will be taken first overall in the draft. Final rankings have forward Nolan Patrick and forward Nico Hischier as the consensus top-two selections, but it’s not a slam dunk that one or the other will go to the New Jersey Devils with the top choice.

Patrick, a native of Winnipeg, tallied 46 points in 33 games last season for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League. He comes from a family of hockey players, with father Steve Patrick and uncle James Patrick both seeing extended NHL time.

Hischier could surpass Nino Niederreiter as the highest draft choice in Switzerland’s history. Niederreiter was taken fifth overall in 2010 by the New York Islanders. Hischier led all QMJHL rookies last season with 86 points in 57 regular-season games.

Here’s the first-round draft order:

  1. New Jersey Devils
  2. Philadelphia Flyers
  3. Dallas Stars
  4. Colorado Avalanche
  5. Vancouver Canucks
  6. Vegas Golden Knights
  7. Arizona Coyotes
  8. Buffalo Sabres
  9. Detroit Red Wings
  10. Florida Panthers
  11. Los Angeles Kings
  12. Carolina Hurricanes
  13. Winnipeg Jets
  14. Tampa Bay Lightning
  15. New York Islanders
  16. Calgary Flames
  17. Toronto Maple Leafs
  18. Boston Bruins
  19. San Jose Sharks
  20. St. Louis Blues
  21. New York Rangers
  22. Edmonton Oilers
  23. Minnesota Wild
  24. Columbus Blue Jackets
  25. Montreal Canadiens
  26. Chicago Blackhawks
  27. Washington Capitals
  28. Ottawa Senators
  29. Anaheim Ducks
  30. Nashville Predators
  31. Pittsburgh Penguins

Now, even though this is the draft order, it’s worth noting not all of these teams will pick in these slots. The Rangers took the Coyotes’ No. 7 pick today in a trade, while the Knights have the Islanders’ and Jets’ opening-round selections. Also, Arizona holds Minnesota’s pick, St. Louis has Washington’s selection and Dallas holds Anaheim’s choice.

What will the Blackhawks do?

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There was speculation earlier today the Blackhawks were trying to move up to No. 7 in the draft with the Coyotes’ pick. While that wound up instead being a trade involving Niklas Hjalmarsson and no draft picks, that doesn’t mean general manager Stan Bowman will stand pat tonight.

Marcus Kruger is certainly still on the trade market, and he could be used in a deal to move the Blackhawks up from No. 26. Artem Anisimov could also be in play in this regard.

The Blackhawks have nine picks as of right now for the two-day draft. They moved one of their picks in the Artemi PanarinBrandon Saad deal this morning, leaving them with a first-round choice, a second-round pick, a third-round selection, a fourth-round choice, three fifth-round picks, a sixth-round selection and a seventh-round choice.

Four of the Blackhawks’ picks are not their own. The third-rounder is from the Ottawa Senators, two of the fourth-rounders are courtesy the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues, and the seventh-rounder is from the Anaheim Ducks.

The Blackhawks, in my opinion, should be focusing on defense first during this draft. They have a fair number of solid offensive prospects, but their defensive prospect pool is currently weak. I’d also like them to seek out a potential goaltender of the future among their draft picks.

2017 NHL Entry Draft viewing information

Start times: 6 p.m. tonight; 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: NBC Sports Network

Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra

The first round will be held tonight, while Rounds 2-7 will be held Saturday. There will be plenty of opportunities for Blackhawks and hockey fans to boo Commissioner Gary Bettman throughout the proceedings, though you can also expect to see some legendary hockey faces as well.

Next: Latest Rumors Involve Kruger, Anisimov, Oshie

It will be most interesting to see what the Blackhawks do tonight and Saturday, but that also goes for a team like the Vegas Golden Knights, which just stocked its roster earlier this week through the expansion draft. There are plenty of fun storylines to look forward to this weekend.

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