The Stanley Cup is probably still being passed around by the Chicago Blackhawks, but in the Garden State, it is time for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, which is being held for the first time in the Metropolitan area. This year’s draft will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., the home of the New Jersey Devils, on Sunday, June 30.
For those die-hard hockey enthusiasts who were unable to score tickets for the event in the draft lottery or as season ticket holders, the event will be televised from 3-8 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network with the NHL Network picking up the broadcast at 8p.m. It will also be streamed live throughout the event from start to finish on NBC SportsLiveExtra.
To get fans in the mood, the Devils are hosting a FanFest prior to the draft which will feature the Jersey Shore at its finest. This event will be held on Championship Plaza, which is located right next to the Prudential Center on Mulberry Street between Edison Place and Market Street from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. It will feature the boardwalk atmosphere the Garden State is famous for with games, food and rides. There will also be the quintessential Jersey music playing in the background, as the BStreet Band provides fun covers of New Jersey’s favorite son, Bruce Springsteen.
Two rinks on Mulberry Street will be the sight of some street hockey action since the Devils sponsor several street hockey leagues throughout the state. Some Devils alumni will also be on hand during the festivities and t-shirts, hats and other merchandise will be passed out.
Hockey fans attending the pre-draft action can stick around and view the selection process at one of the many restaurants and bars that will be showing the event on televisions in their establishments.
The Prudential Center is easily accessible by train. Newark Penn Station is a short walk away from the arena on Market Street and there are also many parking options available in the area if you wish to drive. As always though if you live in the New York/North Jersey area, public transportation is your best bet.
When the draft kicks into high gear, the Devils have the no. 9 pick in the first round and will also pick in the second, fourth and sixth rounds. There will be a total of seven rounds in the draft, which is said to be one of the best in a decade.
American Seth Jones is poised to become the first African-American to be chosen first. The prime pick belongs to the Colorado Avalanche, who will most likely snatch up the highly touted defenseman.
For more information on the draft activities, you can visit the website of the New Jersey Devils.