No official Lightning watch party for this year's draft

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will be in Philadelphia for this year's draft, an event that Lightning fans will be following from their homes. - Bruce Bennett

Feel free to make your own plans; the Lightning are not hosting an official watch party for this year's NHL Entry Draft.

For Tampa Bay Lightning fans, it looks like this year's NHL Entry Draft will be strictly a stay-at-home, watch-on-your-own affair as the team is not hosting an offical "watch party" function. The last two years, the team had hosted a well-attended party for fans featuring appearances by team broadcasters, the Lightning Girls and Thunderbug, as well as merchandise for sale and door prizes at Champps Americana restaurant at International Plaza mall. That restaurant closed back in February.

This year's draft is being held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and the first round will begin at 7 p.m., ET on Friday, June 27th and will be broadcast live by NBCSN in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada. The Lightning currently have two selections in the first round, the 19th and 28th picks. Barring trades, it's likely that any activity involving Tampa Bay won't happen until relatively late in the evening, which may have been a key factor in the team not hosting an event this season. Rounds 2-7 will be held on Saturday, June 28, beginning at 10 a.m., ET, with the NHL Network providing live coverage.

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