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How many rounds are there in the NHL draft? How many players are selected?

Every year, the National Hockey League (NHL) holds a draft where its teams pick potential amateur-eligible players to join their organizations.

Juraj Slafkovsky, #1 pick by the Montreal Canadiens
Minas PanagiotakisAFP

The NHL draft is an annual event where eligible amateur players are selected by National Hockey League (NHL) teams to join their organizations. The draft aims to provide a fair and equitable process for teams to acquire new talent and maintain a competitive balance in the league.

Players eligible for the NHL draft are usually North American players aged 18-20 and international players aged 18-21. The exact criteria for eligibility may vary based on the specific draft year and NHL rules. The regular-season standings determine the order in which teams make their selections. The team with the fewest points in the previous season is awarded the first overall pick, and the order follows in reverse order of the standings. This process is known as the NHL draft lottery, which helps determine the top choices.

How many rounds and selected players are in the NHL draft?

The NHL draft typically involves selecting 224 players, but this number may vary due to factors such as expansion teams or changes to the draft format. The draft comprises multiple rounds, with seven rounds being the norm. Teams are given the chance to select players in each round based on their draft position. Although the first round is usually the most anticipated as it features top prospects, teams can still discover valuable players in later rounds. Each round allows teams to select players by their draft position. Specifically, in the first round, each of the 32 NHL teams (as of my last knowledge update) can choose one player, resulting in 32 players selected in the first round.

The selection order remains the same for subsequent rounds, but the number of picks may vary due to trades or compensatory picks. Typically, each team has one pick per round, resulting in an additional 192 players selected in rounds two to seven (31 teams multiplied by six rounds).

In total, the first round and subsequent rounds add up to 32 + 192 = 224 players being selected in the NHL draft.

After being drafted, players typically continue developing in junior leagues, college hockey, or the AHL (American Hockey League) if they are ready for professional play. They can refine their skills and gain experience before joining their NHL team.