The reports from late last week have been made official, as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has announced today that the city of Buffalo will host the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Bettman also implied that the Buffalo Sabres will be in the running for future outdoor games, after hosting the original Winter Classic in 2008. For the Sabres' part, team president Ted Black said that he plans to bid on a future All-Star Game to come to Buffalo.
The construction of the HARBORCENTER complex, as well as owner Terry Pegula's recent purchase of the Buffalo Bills and promise to design a new stadium, possibly downtown, is quickly making Buffalo a very attractive city for major sporting events. As we wrote in our original article on the draft rumors:
Terry Pegula and the Sabres organization have been open about desire to bring as many hockey events to Buffalo as possible. Buffalo has already been chosen as the new host of the draft combine, the 2015 women's world championships, and the 2015 sled hockey world championships as well.
This will be the third time the city of Buffalo has hosted the draft, with the first in 1991 and the second in 1998. Eric Lindros and Vincent Lecavelier went first in those drafts, respectively.
The 2016 NHL Draft will take place from June 24-25.