Now that the NHL’s 32nd franchise is officially official, all eyes turn to the next big moment on the offseason calendar: The 2021 NHL Draft.

About a month later than the usual June timeframe, it signifies the calendar flipping to a new season — and one that is expected to be more normal than the past two. While the draft will still be similar to 2020, there are a few disparities. One of which is, there is no surefire No. 1 pick. In fact, some — including our partners over at FCHockey — think there are as many 10 options for the top spot.

How it’ll all play out is anyone’s guess. Will Buffalo even keep the first-overall pick? How many deals will go down in the flat-cap era? It is all, to be determined. 

Until then, Sporting News has everything you need to know about the 2021 NHL Draft.

What time is the NHL Draft today?

Over the course of two days, more than 200 kids will hear their name called and earn the distinction as an NHL draft pick. ESPN continues to mark its return as an NHL rightsholder with coverage of the first round.

Round 1

  • Date: Friday, July 23
  • Time:  8 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT
  • TV channel (USA): ESPN2
  • TV channel (Canada): Sportsnet, SN Now, TVAS

Rounds 2-7

  • Date:  Saturday, July 24
  • Time: 11 a.m. ET | 8 a.m. PT
  • TV channel (USA): NHL Network
  • TV channel (Canada): Sportsnet, SN Now

MORE: Kraken Expansion Draft picks | Every 2021 UFA, RFA

Where will the 2021 NHL Draft take place?

Like in 2020, the 2021 edition will take place virtually. After having their hosting duties in 2020 vacated due to the pandemic, Montreal and the Canadiens will serve as the venue in 2022.

Who is expected to be the No. 1 pick?

In 2019, everyone went to Vancouver knowing it was Jack Hughes atop the draft board. In 2020, everyone knew it was Alexis Lafreniere by a mile. In 2021, it’s a guessing game. Most guys have Owen Power going to the Sabres — but, do they need another blueliner? For all we know, GM Kevyn Adams could be shopping the pick and then, if he does make a move, all bets are off on who will get the coveted title of 2021 No. 1 pick.

NHL DRAFT: Five overagers  | 10 candidates for No. 1  | Five sleepers

NHL Draft order 2021

There’s a ton of speculation there will be a whole lotta movin’ and shakin’ when it comes to this draft. So, while the exact order won’t be known until teams walk to their virtual podium and make their picks, here’s the current order for the first round:

2021 FIRST ROUND: Top 32 big board | Mock Draft

1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Seattle Kraken
3. Anaheim Ducks
4. New Jersey Devils
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. San Jose Sharks
8. Los Angeles Kings
9. Vancouver Canucks
10. Ottawa Senators
11. Forfeited pick
12. Chicago Blackhawks
13. Calgary Flames
14. Philadephia Flyers
15. Dallas Stars
16. New York Rangers
17. St. Louis Blues
18. Winnipeg Jets
19. Nashville Predators
20. Edmonton Oilers
21. Boston Bruins
22. Minnesota Wild
23. Detroit Red Wings (from WSH)
24. Florida Panthers
25. Columbus Blue Jackets (from TOR)
26. Minnesota Wild (from PIT)
27. Carolina Hurricanes
28. Colorado Avalanche
29. New Jersey Devils (from NYI)
30. Vegas Golden Knights
31. Montreal Canadiens
32. Columbus Blue Jackets (from TBL)

For the full draft order, Rounds 1-7, click here .

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