NHL Draft Ratings: Expansion Draft Soars, Entry Draft Up Slightly

The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft averaged 268,000 viewers on ESPN2 last Friday night — up 3% from last year, when the event aired in November on NBCSN (259K). This year’s draft was once again held virtually.

Compared to the 2019 draft, which aired on NBCSN in June, this year’s viewership declined 27% from 365,000. This year’s draft was opposite the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

Two nights earlier, the Seattle Kraken expansion draft averaged a substantially stronger 637,000 viewers on ESPN2. The previous expansion draft — for the Golden Knights in 2017 — was part of an NHL Awards telecast that averaged 595,000 on NBCSN.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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