NBCSN’s Exclusive Coverage on Friday, June 26 Begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with Pre-Draft Special
“This is a very good draft for the United States. The Americans are producing as many or more players than anywhere else in the world right now.” – Pierre McGuire
“This is the most anticipated NHL Draft since Sidney Crosby’s draft year (2005).” – Bob McKenzie
“We could see more established NHL players traded for draft picks than we’ve seen in a very long time.” – McGuire
“They are NHL-ready – both should be able to make an immediate impact.” – McKenzie on Projected Top Picks Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel
Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen Host Coverage, Alongside Analysts and Insiders McGuire, McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Craig Button
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 25, 2015 – The future stars of the NHL take center stage tomorrow night on NBCSN, as NBC Sports Group provides its most comprehensive NHL Draft coverage ever with an exclusive presentation of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with a 30-minute NHL Draft Pre-Draft Special on NBCSN.
Canadian Connor McDavid and American Jack Eichel, projected to be selected with the first and second overall picks respectively, headline this year’s draft class, regarded to be one of the top classes in recent history.
Liam McHugh hosts coverage alongside Emmy Award-winning analyst Pierre McGuire and NHL Insiders Bob McKenzie and Craig Button. In addition, Kathryn Tappen anchors coverage from the floor of the BB&T Center, conducting interviews with players, coaches and general managers. Darren Dreger handles reporting duties, providing information on potential trades and developing storylines.
Following are quotes from Pierre McGuire and Bob McKenzie previewing tomorrow’s draft:
McKenzie: “This is the most anticipated NHL Draft since Sidney Crosby’s draft year (2005), which came on the heels of a season-long lockout and of course a league-wide lottery for that first pick. There is no question in my mind that McDavid and Eichel are NHL-ready and both should be able to make an immediate impact.”
McGuire on this year’s draft, and success of previous drafts: “You had Tyler Seguin vs. Taylor Hall (in 2010), you had Victor Hedman and John Tavares (in 2009) – Tavares has become a tremendous player, and Hedman’s been a fantastic player in Tampa, so it’s interesting that there have been these twosomes recently when it comes to the draft. This is a really good draft, and the guys at the top end of the draft are fantastic, franchise players. While some of the drafts in other leagues are overhyped, our draft isn’t overhyped at all.”
McKenzie on which teams can benefit most from this year’s draft: “Arizona obviously will get an elite pick with No. 3 overall, but the Coyotes also own No. 30 and 32, so it’s almost as if they have three first-round picks. Columbus is another team — with Nos. 8, 34, 38 — that has a plethora of early picks. Buffalo and Edmonton are in similar situations. Teams with multiple early picks have greater flexibility to make deals on draft day.”
McGuire on growth of American talent, potential first-round picks beyond Eichel and Noah Hanifin: “This is a very good draft for the United States. The Americans are producing as many or more players than anywhere else in the world right now. I think Kyle Connor who plays for Youngstown in the USHL, and is headed to the University of Michigan, could potentially become a really good player. Another one is Brock Boeser from Waterloo in the USHL, who’s going to the University of North Dakota next year. I think with the proper development, those two kids have a chance to be very good players at the pro level.”
McKenzie on the depth of this year’s draft: “There are three high-end defensemen — Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov and Zach Werenski — with top 10 potential, so the teams that get them are adding guys who will likely be 15-to-20-year NHLers with top pairing potential. I am also interested to see if any team steps up in the first round to take Russian goalie Ilya Samsonov. Teams often shy away from taking a goalie in the first round and/or Russian players, and here we have a Russian goalie who, by most accounts, is the top-ranked goalie in the draft and a potential No. 1 building block netminder.”
McGuire on potential for Draft Day trades: “We could see more established NHL players traded for draft picks than we’ve seen in a very long time. There’s a lot of chatter about potential for NHL players with multi-year contracts that could be traded. That shows there are a lot of teams urgent to make the playoffs, and that a lot of teams out there prepared to trade NHL players, because there are some really good players here than can help your team down the road.”
McKenzie on Draft Day trades: “Outside of teams looking to move picks, I’m interested to see what teams like St. Louis and Toronto, for example, are going to do in terms of possibly moving core players. Chicago, because of salary cap constraints, will also be looking to offload players. It’s going to be a fascinating week leading up to July 1.”
In addition, NBCSN’s coverage will feature interviews and features with all of the top 2015 NHL Draft prospects, including McDavid and Eichel, as well as video, interviews and highlights from the 2015 NHL Draft Combine held last month in Buffalo, N.Y.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA COVERAGE
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs – will stream comprehensive coverage of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store and Apple TV.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.
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