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Vancouver to Host 2019 Draft

NHL: NHL Draft David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It has been announced that the Canucks will have the honor of picking 5th overall in Vancouver next June. While not officially announced - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson - will join together for a press conference tomorrow at Roger’s Arena, where they are expected to officially declare Vancouver the host.

The last time Vancouver hosted the draft was in 2006, where Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues) was selected first overall, followed by Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks). Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals) and Phil Kessel (Boston Bruins) rounded out the top five that year. The Canucks selected Michael Grabner (now of the New Jersey Devils) 14th overall.

Prior to 2006, the Canucks played host at B.C. Place, where the Canucks selected Petr Nedved second overall, and the Penguins selected Jaromir Jagr fifth overall. Owen Nolan was the first selection, brought in by the Quebec Nordiques.

Top prospects for the 2019 draft include centreman Jack Hughes, defenceman Bowem Byram, and winger Dylan Cozens. The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly excited to select whichever prospect is slotted at first overall come June 2019.

This year’s draft - taking place in Dallas - will be held on June 22nd and 23rd.