Connor Bedard

What to expect at Blackhawks' draft parties in Chicago, Nashville

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The Chicago Blackhawks are pulling out all the stops as they celebrate having the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and that will include parties at Chicago’s Salt Shed and in Nashville on draft night.

The Blackhawks will hold their official watch party at the Salt Shed, located at 1357 North Elston Avenue on Wednesday night as they prepare for the first round of the draft.

The team owns the No. 1 pick for just the second time in history, and will likely take Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard with the selection.

While the draft will start at 6 p.m., the party will get underway earlier, with alumni autograph signings, live performances and a kids zone, among other events.

Fans are encouraged to get free tickets via the Blackhawks’ mobile app. Limited tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis, the team says.

Gates will open for the event at 3 p.m.

Here’s what to expect:

4:15 p.m.: Autographs with Blackhawks legends Denis Savard and Steve Larmer

4:30 p.m.: Skills clinic with Ben Eager and Bryan Bickell. Both players will also sign autographs, as will former Blackhawks forward Adam Burish.

5 p.m.: Autograph sessions will continue with broadcasters Chris Vosters and Caley Chelios.

DJ Oreo will also begin performing at the outdoor stage.

5:40 p.m.: Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press will perform on the indoor stage.

6 p.m.: The first round of the draft gets underway, with the Blackhawks’ first pick likely taking place around 6:15 p.m.

The team also owns the No. 19 pick in the first round.

7:40 p.m.: Another autograph session will be held, with legendary broadcaster Pat Foley signing for fans.

9 p.m.: A drone show is planned, with Sky Elements programming the show.

As for the Nashville party, it will also be free and open to the public from 1-to-6 p.m., with giveaways, guest appearances by Blackhawks alumni, live music and more, with food and beverage available for purchase.

The party will be held at the Skydeck at Assembly Food Hall, the team says.

A post-draft party will also be held beginning at 8 p.m., with tickets required for entry. Prices will run $50 per ticket for the event, with complimentary food and beverages, as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with Blackhawks alumni.

More information can be found on the team’s website.

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