The Entry Draft is a special event during which players from a particular league or caliber get selected by teams of a league of higher caliber as a way to gain new talent. The system is widely spread in North America in most professional sports; it however is virtually absent from European sports, where it is the norm to gain new players via buying and development of youth through their own academies.
In the ice hockey world, the best-known and highest regarded draft is the NHL Entry Draft. As is usually proper with Drafts, the teams that fared worst during the previous season get to pick first; however, while the draft order is in reverse order of standing finish, there is a draft lottery that may make the team finishing dead last pick in another position than first (though it is never far away from first); this is to deter the tendency of some teams to totally and willingly screw up a whole season in order to draft first and secure a highly-touted youth.
Related concepts are waiver draft, supplemental drafts, expansion drafts and dispersal drafts.
The Canadian Hockey League member leagues also hold Drafts; in their case, they hold two annually; each league will draft talent from its assigned pool (via the WHL Bantam Draft, the OHL Priority Selection and the QMJHL Entry Draft), as well as an additional event for import players, called the CHL Import Draft.
It is interesting to note that while widespread in North America, and therefore in the United-States, it is also an illegal activity because it limits free trade between the participating teams. However, it is deemed legal if owners and a players association have negotiated one in good faith as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
|National Hockey League Amateur and Entry Drafts|
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