The 2016 NHL Draft kicks off Friday night at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. Top names like Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujärvi, Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois will be called off early as teams hope they've finally found franchise cornerstones to build around.
Only the first round of the draft is on Friday, with the next six rounds running Saturday.
For Blackhawks fans, that means Friday won't be very important barring a trade. Chicago doesn't have its first-round pick (No. 22 overall) this year after trading it to Winnipeg for the rental of forward Andrew Ladd. The Hawks' first pick will be in the second round (No. 50 overall), so barring a trade that brings in a first-rounder, fans will have to wait until Saturday to see GM Stan Bowman's work getting underway.
Chicago has eight picks in this year's draft, including two fourth-rounders and two fifth-rounders. Those picks should help fill out the depth in the organization, and it's also possible some trades shake up what the team is working with this weekend. One last thing to keep an eye on is the Andrew Shaw situation, as the team reportedly plans to meet with his agent in Buffalo. If those talks fall apart, we could see a trade sooner than later.
How to watch the 2016 NHL Draft
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Live stream: NBC Sports Extra
The first round draft order
- New Jersey
- NY → Arizona
- Los Angeles → Carolina
- Chicago → Winnipeg
- Tampa Bay
- St. Louis
- San Jose → Boston
- Pittsburgh → Toronto → Anaheim