The NHL entry draft is the way the National Hockey League brings in new players. In 2021, the draft will be held in the home of the Dallas Stars, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Coverage of the first round begins on Friday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m EST, with rounds 2-7 beginning at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday, July 24th. Though there are several channels covering the draft in the US and Canada, you can watch the prospects get gobbled up one by one in the NHL draft from anywhere with a VPN. Here are a few of our favorite VPNs for streaming live events.
The NHL entry draft started in 1962, but it did not become public until 1980. That was only four months after the shocking victory of the US over the USSR to win the gold medal in ice hockey at the 1980 Olympics. Not surprisingly, the sport started to draw more interest and attention after that victory. Since then, we have seen some of the greatest hockey players in history come through the ranks of the NHL. We could be watching the next Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, or even Jagr getting chosen to play.
Last year, the NHL did something unusual in their draft. Typically, the teams that do the worst are the ones that win the draft lottery. The draft lottery determines what order a team picks in. In 2015, the NHL changed the weights to decrease the chances of the bottom four teams getting the best players and increase the chances of the other non playoff teams above that getting the best picks.
Of course, there has been the normal jostling around and positioning this year because of trades and supplemental picks. Here’s a look at the draft order for the first two rounds.
|Pick||Round 1||Pick||Round 2|
|1||New York Rangers||32||Detroit Red Wings|
|2||Los Angeles Kings||33||Ottawa Senators|
|3||Ottawa Senators||34||San Jose Sharks|
|4||Detroit Red Wings||35||Los Angeles Kings|
|5||Ottawa Senators||36||Anaheim Ducks|
|6||Anaheim Ducks||37||Nashville Predators|
|7||New Jersey Devils||38||Buffalo Sabres|
|8||Buffalo Sabres||39||Minnesota Wild|
|9||Minnesota Wild||40||Winnipeg Jets|
|10||Winnipeg Jets||41||Carolina Hurricanes|
|11||Nashville Predators||42||Nashville Predators|
|12||Florida Panthers||43||Florida Panthers|
|13||Carolina Hurricanes||44||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|14||Edmonton Oilers||45||Detroit Red Wings|
|15||Toronto Maple Leafs||46||Chicago Blackhawks|
|16||Montreal Canadiens||47||Montreal Canadiens|
|17||Chicago Blackhawks||48||Montreal Canadiens|
|18||New Jersey Devils||49||No selection|
|19||Calgary Flames||50||Calgary Flames|
|20||New Jersey Devils||51||Los Angeles Kings|
|21||Columbus Blue Jackets||52||Ottawa Senators|
|22||New York Rangers||53||Carolina Hurricanes|
|23||Philadelphia Flyers||54||Philadelphia Flyers|
|24||Washington Capitals||55||Detroit Red Wings|
|25||Colorado Avalanche||56||San Jose Sharks|
|26||St. Louis Blues||57||Montreal Canadiens|
|27||Anaheim Ducks||58||Boston Bruins|
|28||Ottawa Senators||59||Ottawa Senators|
|29||Vegas Golden Knights||60||Los Angeles Kings|
|30||Dallas Stars||61||Ottawa Senators|
|31||San Jose Sharks||62||Tampa Bay Lightning|
Currently, there will be two channels each day that will show the draft coverage. In the US, NBC Sports Network will cover the first round on the 23rd, and on the 24th, the NHL network will pick up coverage. In Canada, coverage begins with Sportsnet on the first day, and Sportsnet 1 on the second day. If you are going to view this event outside of the US or Canada, you will need a paid subscription that includes NBCSN or Sportsnet and a good VPN service.
Why should you use a VPN? Because the draft will be geo-blocked. That means the site you go to detects your IP address and if it is outside the US or Canada, you will be blocked based on geographic restrictions. There are many choices you can pick from for a VPN. Here are some good recommendations we have that will make connecting as easy as selecting a country and pushing a button.
How to Use a VPN to Watch the NHL Entry Draft
We will use ExpressVPN for the example of how to use a VPN service to watch the NHL Draft. First, you’ll want to download the VPN client. ExpressVPN offers client software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mobile users can download apps for iOS and Android. You can even use the ExpressVPN router app to secure every device on your network. It will send all your communications through the VPN which extends support to devices like game consoles and streaming boxes. They even have an app for Amazon Fire TV devices.
Now that you’ve had a chance to download and install the software, it’s time to connect. Launch the ExpressVPN client and select a server location. We’ll walk you through step by step using their Windows client. Keep in mind we are using images from US servers since Big Brother is geo-restricted to the United States.
- Since NBCSN and NHL Network is available in the US, you will want to pick a server in the United States. ExpressVPN has a large network of servers located all over the US.
- We recommend you select OpenVPN (TCP) or (UDP). For streaming videos from sites like YouTube, we use OpenVPN (UDP) because its faster than TCP. They also support PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP. We still recommend OpenVPN UDP for the best mix of speed and privacy protection.
- Click the big round connect button. After a few seconds, you’ll see the shield around the button turn green. There will also be a message letting you know the “VPN is ON”
- You now have an IP address in the USA, as far as anyone can tell online. As such, you can reach any site as if you were sitting there. The same would be true if you connected to a server in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
It is just that easy to do. Now that you have an IP address from an ExpressVPN server in the US, you can browse the Internet or watch the NHL Entry Draft as if you were actually there. The same is true from any country, but you will want to connect to a server in the US to watch the live feeds.
As you can probably tell by now, a good VPN opens access to content around the world. For use outside of the US, the service can help you unblock popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora. You still need an account for services like Netflix but the VPN will help you watch American shows and movies on Netflix as if you were physically there or in any other region you would like to access.
Enjoy all the excitement during the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Please share this post with your friends so they can enjoy the excitement from anywhere in the world with a VPN. Be sure to follow us @VPNFan for the latest deals and guides.