ESPN2 and Sportsnet to Air NHL Expansion Draft on July 21 and First Round of NHL Draft on July 23; ESPN, Sportsnet and NHL Network Talent to Lead Live Coverage; Seattle Kraken to Reveal Initial Roster in NHL Expansion Show Live From Seattle
NEW YORK / TORONTO (June 28, 2021) – The National Hockey League today announced broadcast coverage plans for the 2021 NHL Draft™ and 2021 NHL Expansion Draft™. Both events will be produced by NHL Original Productions, in partnership with ESPN, NHL Network and Sportsnet.
The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will be broadcast on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the U.S. and Sportsnet and SN NOW in Canada – live from Seattle, home of the Seattle Kraken, the League’s 32nd team. Hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, the Kraken will reveal the initial roster for their 2021-22 inaugural season. Fowler will be joined by former NHL player Dominic Moore. Kevin Weekes, who has provided commentary and analysis for NHL Network and Hockey Night in Canada, will be reporting from various iconic Seattle locations.
The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft will be broadcast on Friday, July 23, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the U.S. and Sportsnet and SN NOW in Canada, live from the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, N.J.
ESPN’s John Buccigross will host live coverage of Round 1, alongside Sportsnet analysts Elliotte Friedman and Sam Cosentino. Weekes, NHL Network’s Jackie Redmond, and ESPN hockey writer and reporter Emily Kaplan will join the coverage team, providing insight and analysis.
NHL Network™ will provide exclusive coverage of Rounds 2-7 in the U.S. on Saturday, July 24, at 11 a.m. ET, live from its studios in Secaucus. NHL Network’s signature programs NHL Now™ and NHL Tonight™ also will air live pre- and post-coverage of the Expansion Draft and the first round of the NHL Draft. Fans in Canada will be able to watch Rounds 2-7 on Sportsnet and SN NOW.
Some of the top prospects from North America include: University of Michigan’s Owen Power, who tallied 16 points in 26 games as a freshman defenseman, and center Kent Johnson who scored 27 points in 26 games in his freshman season; center Mason McTavish of the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes; defenseman Luke Hughes, the brother of recent high draft picks Quinn and Jack; and Edmonton Oil Kings winger Dylan Guenther, who scored 24 points in a shortened 12-game season.
William Eklund, a left wing for Djurgarden of the Swedish Hockey League, tops all international skaters, while Sebastian Cossa of Edmonton in the WHL and Jesper Wallstedt of Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League rank first among goaltenders on the North America and International lists, respectively. A full breakdown of 2021 NHL Draft prospects is available here.
ESPN’s coverage of the Draft and Expansion Draft follows the NHL’s ground-breaking, long-term rights agreement with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN. Beginning with the 2021-22 season, ESPN+ and Hulu will be home to 75 exclusive, national NHL® game telecasts, and ESPN+ will be the exclusive home for NHL’s out-of-market streaming package, with more than 1,000 games available for fans to stream as part of an ESPN+ subscription.