The Florida Panthers are hosting the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. This is the second time that the draft has been held in South Florida. The Panthers also hosted the event in 2001, bringing fans to their feet by trading for Valeri Bure, brother of former Cats superstar Pavel Bure, and drafting Stephen Weiss with the fourth overall pick.
This time around the Panthers hold the 11th pick in the first round. General Manager Dale Tallon has made great selections in the past few drafts, with Florida having two of the past three winners of the NHL’s Calder Trophy, given to the league’s top rookie. While the focus of the draft will be on the players selected, there will be a lot of other things going on in and around the BB&T Center. Here’s a list of some the fun things to do at the NHL Draft.
NHL Draft Fan Fest
The Panthers and the NHL will be host a free Fan Fest during both days of the draft. The event will feature hockey-themed and family-friendly activities, food and beverages and exclusive NHL Draft merchandise. Admission to Fan Fest is free and does not require a ticket. It will be held outside of the BB&T Center on the JetBlue Tarmac.
NHL Draft Trading Card Show
The National Hockey League and Upper Deck are teaming up to offer hockey fans a great experience with an assortment of trading cards, special presentations and player appearances at a two-day trading card and memorabilia show at the BB&T Center. There will be a host of attractions for fans to enjoy, including unique collectibles and special exclusive NHL Draft trading cards.
Panthers Player/Personalities Autograph Sessions
Throughout the draft there will be current and former Panthers players and current TV and radio personalities signing autographs for fans. 2015 Calder Trophy winner Aaron Ekblad and 2013 Calder Trophy Winner Jonathan Huberdeau will be some of the Panthers players signing for fans. Also, Panthers TV personality and NHL Hall of Fame member Dennis Potvin will be made available to fans, as well as former Panthers and NHL player and current TV personality Billy Lindsay.
The Stanley Cup
The most famous trophy in all of professional sports, the Stanley Cup, will be at the BB&T Center during the NHL Draft. Fans will have the opportunity to view the cup and take photographs with it.
The Draft Itself
Along with all the fun activities and appearances happening in and around the BB&T Center, there will also be a draft happening. The first round of the 2015 NHL Draft will take place Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. while rounds two through seven will be on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
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