watch the NHL Draft live

Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning have skated away with the Stanley Cup in tow, it’s time to look forward to the 2022 season. For that, we launch right into the 2021 NHL Draft. The draft begins Friday, July 23, with the Round 1 live stream starting at 8 PM EST.

You can watch the 2021 NHL Draft live online from anywhere in the US or Canada, although this is one event where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good-quality live stream outside of official sources. That said, US fans can turn to either free trials or low-cost packages with live TV streaming services to watch the entire two-day event.

The TV streaming services streaming the NHL Draft live are all region-locked. This means you’ll need the help of a VPN to watch on your usual home services while traveling abroad.

How to watch the 2021 NHL Draft live online with a VPN

Geographic content blocks may prevent you from accessing the NHL Draft, especially if you’re outside the US or Canada where most streaming options for the NHL exist. You can still watch while traveling abroad if you utilize a VPN. Since streaming options are limited, many copyright-infringing streams may pop up. We recommend you avoid the risks associated with illegal streams and instead opt for a legally available streaming service paired with a VPN to bypass any regional geo-blocks.

Here’s how to live stream the 2021 NHL Draft from anywhere:

  1. First, select a VPN provider. We highly recommend NordVPN thanks to its dedicated streaming servers. However, and Surfshark and ExpressVPN also provide the type of experience and toolset necessary private and anonymous streaming.
  2. Once you’ve created your account, install the VPN client. Most options come with standalone apps for major devices and have extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
  3. Once your VPN is activated, connect to a server in the country where you want to stream the NHL Draft (such as the US).
  4. With your VPN connected to the server of your choice, go to the website of the streaming service you plan to use to watch the NHL Draft.
  5. You should now be able to bypass any content blocks and stream the 2021 NHL Draft live. Still blocked? Try clearing your browser’s cookies or load your browser into a private or incognito instance. You may also need to connect to a different VPN server to change your IP address.

The 2021 NHL Draft will be broadcast live, and only on paid streaming services in both the US and Canada. Free options exist in the US with free trials, while viewers in Canada will need a paid service. Anyone outside the US with a US-based payment method may be able to use a VPN to access legitimate streaming options. 


NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for the NHL with no restrictions for a month - great if you want to stream the NHL draft from abroad.

There are no hidden terms - just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

How to live stream the 2021 Draft on US TV

nhl draft live online 2021
US fans have several streaming options.

Although the NHL Conference Finals and Stanley Cup were available to stream over-the-air, the NHL puts the 2021 Draft behind paywalls. Still, free streaming options exist thanks to free trial offers.

  • Round 1 streams at 8 PM EST on Friday, July 23 via ESPN2.
  • Rounds 2-7 begin streaming at 11 AM EST on Saturday, July 24 via NHL Network

Effectively, this means you can only watch the 2021 NHL Draft in the US if you have access to both ESPN2 and NHL Network. You have a few options that do carry both of these channels.

To get both either ESPN2 or NHL Network (or both) in the US, explore the following services:

  • Sling TV (Orange package @ $30/month + Sports Extra @ $11/mo) – First month costs $10; ESPN2 and NHL Network
  • FuboTV (Starter package @ $64.99/month) – Comes with a 7-day free trial; ESPN2 and NHL Network
  • Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/month) – Comes with a 7-day free trial; ESPN2 only
  • YouTube TV ($64.99/month) – Comes with a 7-day free trial
  • AT&T TV (Ultimate package @ $94.99/month) – Comes with a 7-day free trial; ESPN2 and NHL Network
  • Vidgo ($55/month) – First month costs $10; ESPN2 only

Even if you’ve already created an account with one of these services, you likely haven’t trialed all of them. Sign up for your select service (either via its free trial or low-cost first-month offer) on the same day as Round 1 (July 23) to maximize the trial period.

How to watch the 2021 Draft in Canada

canada nhl conference finals
NHL fans in Canada can turn to the expected sources.

SportsNet remains your best option for all things NHL in Canada. You can live stream both rounds of the event on Friday and Saturday through SportsNet Now or SportsNet if you have a traditional cable subscription.

Purchase a 7-day pass to the SN Now+ for $9.99 CAD, which is likely the best and cheapest option if you don’t plan to keep using SN NOW after the 2021 NHL Draft ends. Otherwise, the annual subscription for SN NOW is as cheap as $12.50 CAD/month CAD for the standard level, up to $20.83/month for SN NOW+.

Alternatively, those who prefer to have their sports commentary in French should consider TVA Direct. You can subscribe for $19.99 CAD/month.

How to watch the NHL Draft abroad

If you’re currently abroad, you have limited options to watch the 2021 NHL Draft live online. NHL international broadcast rights vary, and there’s no guarantee those networks will carry the Draft. However, if you have a US-based payment method, you can sign up with a free trial for one of the US services that carry ESPN2 and NHL Network. NordVPN is the best option we’ve tested for bypassing geographic content restrictions for any of the services we recommend.

2021 NHL Draft Schedule

View the entire 2021 NHL Draft order on ESPN.

2021 NHL Draft FAQs

Who has the first pick in the 2021 NHL Draft?

The Buffalo Sabres won the first pick in the 2021 NHL draft after winning the draft lottery.

Where is the NHL 2021 Draft?

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually. Technically, the draft will be hosted as a virtual conference based out of the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.

How many picks do the NY Rangers have in 2021?

The New York Rangers have 9 picks in the 2021 NHL draft. There will be 224 draft picks across all 224 teams. Read more on that here.