2016 NHL Draft Hockey Career Conference

June 23-25, 2016
Buffalo, New York
First Niagara Center

Every June the NHL Entry Draft sets the future of hockey in motion as a global onslaught of talented stickmen discover the next move of their career. But the success stories coming out of Buffalo aren’t limited to the young men in pads, those attending the Sports Management Worldwide NHL Draft Career Conference will be setting the stage for their career growth in the hockey industry too.

Our annual NHL Draft Hockey Career Conference provides people of all ages with a desire to work in professional hockey insight and exposure they can't get anywhere else:

  • Network with hockey executives
  • Receive career guidance from hockey insiders 
  • Discover who is hiring and what you need to know to get hired
  • Connect with other hockey career minded individuals
  • Learn strategies to catapult your career to the next level
  • Ask questions of hockey executives, scouts, media members and more

But the benefits don’t end there – conference registration includes lower bowl tickets to both days of the NHL Draft!

Seats are limited for this one of a kind sports career conference, register today!


Why You Should Attend the 2016 NHL Draft Career Conference

This 2-day event will offer unique panel discussions and Q & A sessions with some of the biggest names in the world of hockey. All attendees will also have the opportunity to network with hockey industry insiders who are deeply connected to the sport. 

“Attending the SMWW NHL Career Conference opened doors to opportunities I wouldn’t have known about otherwise,” says Brittany Wong, Broadcast Media student at Ryerson University and 2015 Conference attendee. “The wide range of industry professionals provided something for everyone, from scouting to marketing and business operations – this conference has it all.”

If you want to start a career in hockey or advance your current one, attending the SMWW NHL Draft Career Conference is the move you need to make. Find out who is hiring and for what roles, network with hockey executives, and learn strategies to catapult your career to the next level.

“Our NHL Draft Career Conference provides an invaluable opportunity for attendees to learn about careers in the NHL while networking with some of the biggest names in the industry,” says Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, President of Sports Management Worldwide. “Agents, GM’s, Directors of Player Personnel and Marketing Executives all will be present, meeting and speaking with attendees. This is a unique event!”

Past conference speakers have included team executives like the Calgary Flames Brian Burke and Detroit Red Wings Ken Holland, powerful sports agents like Pat Brisson and Rick Curran, media members like NHL Network Senior Reporter EJ Hradek, head coaches, personnel executives, scouts and more.

“SMWW gets the best speakers year after year, who are all able to speak with confidence and experience regarding a wide variety of topics in the hockey industry. Every moment at the conference was time well spent,” confirms Dylan Skubel, Ontario Minor Hockey Association Referee and Linesman.

Hockey careers start with Sports Management Worldwide, and our annual NHL Draft Career Conference is a great way to get introduced to the people behind the scenes that make the game great.

"If you are thinking about a career in hockey, SMWW is a cutting edge program that offers you the training, skills, vital networking, mentoring, and hockey specific training that will assist you in breaking in or advancing your career in professional hockey. They have hundreds of graduates now working at all levels of the game," says Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations, Brian Burke.


Information about the 2016 event:

Information will be added as it becomes available. SMWW is assigned space at the Draft by the NHL after they make accommodations for the draft picks, NHL executives, and NHL teams staff. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016 7:30pm- 9:30pm:
SMWW Welcome Reception (Optional) 
Come network with hockey executives, SMWW Staff and other hockey conference attendees.  Held at Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill, just two blocks from the Buffalo Convention Center, the welcome reception is always a great time. Everyone there is excited about the career conference, learning from each other and sharing a few adult beverages.

It’s optional…but you really shouldn’t miss it!
Friday, June 24, 2016 9am-5pm:  
Hockey Business & Career Conference at the Buffalo Convention Center. A day filled with executive panels, discussions about the business of hockey and Q&A periods with those working at the highest level of professional hockey. Includes a networking lunch.
Friday, June 24, 2016 7pm:  Round 1 of the 2016 NHL Draft held in First Niagara Center, Home of the Buffalo Sabres
Conference registration includes lower bowl tickets to both days of the NHL Draft. Transportation provided on the NHL buses from downtown Buffalo hotels to the NHL Draft.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 10am:  Rounds 2-7 of the NHL Draft held in First Niagara Center, Home of the Buffalo Sabres
Conference registration includes lower bowl tickets to  both days of the NHL Draft.

I would highly recommend to anyone with a goal of pursuing a career in professional hockey that they give serious consideration in attending the NHL Draft Career Conference which is absolutely an incredible value for the return on the investment.
- Patrick Edwards, International Scouting Services - Hockey Scout

Where is the SMWW NHL Draft Career Conference?

The conference sessions will be held in downtown Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. 

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, New York 14202

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held in First Niagara Center, Home of the Buffalo Sabres:

1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203

Transportation from downtown Buffalo hotels to the NHL draft will be provided on NHL sponsored buses.

NHL Draft Career Conference Registration Includes:

Seeing major events first hand is a great way to improve your industry knowledge and connection. That is why we have included one ticket to both days of the 2016 NHL Draft as part of your conference registration. Being able to experience a live event like the NHL Draft is exciting and rewarding!

All of the tickets we distribute are lower bowl (100 level) and grant access to all 7 rounds. Tickets will be distributed at conference check-in on Friday. Additional tickets are not available.

  • Thursday night Welcome Reception (location TBD)
  • Friday Networking Lunch
  • SMWW Name badge
  • Registration packet including conference agenda and speaker biographies
  • Admission to all conference sessions

NHL Draft Information:

For those of you who have never experienced the NHL draft live, it is fascinating! 

The National Hockey League is the lone sports league without war rooms at team offices, instead, teams bring their entire personnel staff right to the draft. Each team brings their GM, top player personnel executives and their scouts, all the key decision makers for each team will be right in front of you!

Imagine watching the top 600 NHL executives on the arena floor making decisions for their teams that will affect years of hockey. This is a must attend event for any hockey fan.


Hotel Information:

Lenox Hotel and Suites 
King $157

Holiday Inn Express Cheektowaga
King $164
Hampton Inn Buffalo Airport
King Bed $189
Comfort Inn Near Walden Galleria Mall 
(prices differ depending on night /# people)
King Bed - $119-$150
Queen Bed - $129 - $169
Residence Inn Buffalo Galleria Mall
King and pull out couch $199 
Queen Suite with pull out couch $202
DoubleTree Buffalo Downtown
Standard Room $339


These hotels are currently sold out but as we get closer to the draft, teams will cancel extra rooms and rooms will become available again:

  • Comfort Inn Downtown
  • Adam's Mark Hotel
  • Embassy Suites Downtown
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Buffalo Airport
  • Buffalo Marriott Harborside
  • Courtyard Buffalo Downtown/Canalside
  • Hyatt Regency Buffalo
  • Embassy Suites Buffalo
  • Hampton Inn and Suites Buffalo Downtown
  • Best Western On the Avenue


Conference Fees

Conference Fee does not include hotel accommodations. Speakers are not guaranteed. This event has sold out in previous years. Space is limited. If you wait for locations to be announced or for speakers to be posted, space may not be available.

General Admission: $300 USD  
College Students, Faculty & SMWW Alumni: $250 USD
(Your university will be on your name tag. All Sports Management Worldwide Students and Alumni are included at this rate.)  
Click Here to Register as a Student

Team, Agency Employees & SMWW Agents: $250 USD
(The team or agency you currently work for will be on your name tag.) 

Questions about the workshop or group rates? Contact Alyssa at alyssa@smww.com.

Walk-up registrations will not be accepted. Please register online in advance.

Scholarships For the NHL Draft Career Conference Are Available

SMWW will award a limited amount of full and partial scholarships for each SMWW Career Conference. You must be 18 years or older to be considered. If interested, fill out an application , submit your resume and a one-page letter explaining why you should receive a scholarship to: info@smww.com.

Scholarships do not include lodging or airfare. Those who have completed an SMWW training program will be given preference.

2015 Speakers (2016 speakers to be announced at a later date)

Speakers are not guaranteed. Teams make meeting changes or events happen at the draft that requires us to be flexible. We are constantly making speaker additions.
Keep coming back to this agenda to see the most recent additions all the way up to draft day!

Past Speakers Have Included:

Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings, General Manager and Executive Vice President
Brian Burke, Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations
Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Sports Management Worldwide, President
Rick Curran, NHL Agent, Orr Hockey Group
EJ Hradek, Host, NHL Live
Gordie Clark, New York Rangers, Director of Player Personnel
Drake Berehowsky, statstrack Founder & Former NHL Player
Ryan Bowness, Winnipeg Jets, Manager of Hockey Operations and Team Services
Chris Snow, Calgary Flames, Director of Video and Statistical Analysis
Patrick Burke, NHL Director of Player Safety
Michael Schuckers, Co-Founder, Statistical Sports Consulting
Neil Glasberg, PBI Sports and Entertainment, President
Mike Oke, Peterborough Petes , General Manager
Rick McLaughlin, Texas Stars, President/General Manager
Harkie Singh, Uptown Sports Director of Player Development
Cameron Lizotte, Peterborough Petes Defenseman & NHL Draft Prospect
William Boll, Quantum Pro Hockey, Chief Operations Officer
Adelyn Biedenbach, Florida Panthers Digital Media & Communications
Dino Caputo, Tri Cities Americans, (WHL)Regional Scout, SMWW Faculty
Marc-Andre Dumont, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, GM /Head Coach
Serge Payer, NHL Agent
Barclay Parneta, Tri Cities Americans Head Scout & Prospect Development Coach
Zoran Rajcic, Everett Silvertips Executive VP and Asst. GM
Lisa Hollenbeck, WHL Portland Winterhawks Director of Hockey Administration
Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune Lead Sports Columnist
And many more…
And more...


Download a Copy of the 2015 NHL Program Here: