By Joshua M. Hicks
The National Hockey League announced last week that the Chicago Blackhawks will be hosting the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago. It will be Chicago’s first time hosting the event.
“The energy and passion Chicago has for the Blackhawks makes United Center the ideal setting for the 2017 NHL Draft,” NHL league commissioner Gary Bettman said, according to a NBC Chicago report. “The Draft will be one of the central moments of our Centennial, and the NHL family is looking forward to bringing this signature event to Chicago for the first time.”
Demonze Spruiel-Rose, co-host of the radio sports broadcast the D & Davis Show, believes that this move is only going to add on to the success the city of Chicago has made in sports.
“[The NHL Draft] is another feather in the sports cap of Chicago,” Spruiel-Rose said. “This will not be the last time you will see the NHL in Chicago for their draft.”
Roosevelt student and senior Carolina Rodriguez agrees with Spruiel-Rose.
“[The NHL Draft] is a great thing for Chicago,” Rodriguez said. “The NFL Draft was held here last year and I think it was a huge success. Chicago is a big hockey town so this will be great for us.”
According to Spruiel-Rose, Chicago has opened up the door for major sports looking to bring future events such as the Draft to the Windy City.
“I am predicting that all the major sports will have a draft within the next five years here in Chicago,” Spruiel-Rose said. “After the huge success of the NFL Draft, the other leagues will for sure look at Chicago as second draft home.”
Rodriguez believes that this was a good business move for the NHL to keep promoting their brand.
“The NHL needs a city with a big hockey following to show the new stars coming into the sport,” Rodriguez sad. “It’s going to be a fun time for the city.”
Rodriguez also discussed the benefit of Chicago hosting the NHL draft next year.
“I think the city and the Blackhawks benefit because it shows the U.S. that Chicago has the best hockey team and town in all of the NHL,” Rodriguez said.
Spruiel-Rose believes that this inside look into Chicago as a hockey town will increase the possibility of athletes playing more hockey.
“[The draft] is only a win-win for both,” Spruiel-Rose said. “Chicago is showing the other sports leagues that they can hold big events with no problem. The Blackhawks will have their brand in front of the sports world, bringing more fans and possibly pushing more kids to play hockey.”
The draft will take place on June 23 and 24.