NHL awards 2020 draft to Montreal
Carey Price of Vancouver tries on his Montreal Canadiens jersey during the first round at the NHL entry draft in Ottawa Saturday, July 30, 2005. It sounds strange today, but when the Canadiens chose Price fifth overall in the 2005 draft, many observers were surprised. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019 2:53PM EDT
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens will host the 2020 NHL draft.
The NHL announced Wednesday the Bell Centre will stage the two-day event June 26-27, 2020.
It marks the 27th time the draft is in Montreal and the second year in a row the event will be held in Canada. This year's draft is Friday and Saturday in Vancouver.
The draft returns to Montreal for the first time since 2009 when current Toronto Maple Leafs star John Tavares was picked first overall by the New York Islanders.
The first-ever NHL draft was held in Montreal in 1963, the first of 22 consecutive drafts in the city before it went to Toronto in 1985.
Though Montreal also hosted the draft in 1986, '88 and '92, the NHL then began shifting the event's location to make it more accessible to its fans.
"To think that the NHL draft started in 1963 as a small gathering at a hotel ballroom in Montreal, makes it all the more exciting to announce that the 2020 edition of the draft is coming back to its original city, Montreal, in a far grander fashion," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
-- with files from the Associated Press