BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The National Hockey League commissioner shared big news with Buffalo Monday afternoon. Gary Bettman was in town for the official announcement that the Buffalo Sabres are hosting the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagara Center. It will be held on June 24th and June 25th, 2016.
NHL executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 15,000 fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.
“Awarding the 2016 National Hockey League Draft to Buffalo honors the passion of its fans for our sport and reflects the commitment of Terry and Kim Pegula to the Sabres and to Buffalo,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a prepared statement. “We are delighted our fans will have the opportunity to welcome the incoming class of outstanding players at First Niagara Center, which is one of the hockey world’s top event destinations.”
The NHL’s decision to hold the 2016 draft here represents another win for HARBORcenter, Terry Pegula’s $172 million investment across from the First Niagara Center.
The NHL has held the draft in Buffalo twice, in 1991 and in 1998.
During the press conference Monday, Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black said they intend to bid on an NHL All-Star game in the future.
While in town, Bettman commented on the Pegula family’s new purchase of the Buffalo Bills. The Buffalo Sabres report Bettman said, “As I watched the Bills game yesterday, I realized NFL is seeing what we already know at NHL. Terry and Kim Pegula are great owners.”
Philadelphia hosted the 2014 draft. The Florida Panthers will play host to the draft in June 2015.