2017 Hockey Career Conference at the NHL Draft 

When Chicago becomes Hockeytown, U.S.A.!

June 22-24, 2018

Chicago, Illinois
at United Center, Home of the Chicago Blackhawks

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 Chicago 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!




Why You Should Attend the 2017 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 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 Event:

Information will be updated 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 22nd, 2017 7:00pm- 9:00pm:
SMWW Welcome Reception (Optional) 
Join hockey executives, SMWW Staff, and other hockey conference attendees at The Chicago Sports Museum. Network while exploring the legends and lore of Chicago sports.  The Chicago Sports Museum combines hi-tech interactive experiences with unique sports memorabilia (think Sammy Sosa’s corked bat) and an impressive collection of game-used treasures and other artifacts. Including…Blackhawk Andrew Shaw’s stitches he received from game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, (no kidding!) Compare your vertical leap to Michael Jordan, your reaction time to Hawks goalie Tony Esposito. Find out what happened to the puck that scored the winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in the last game of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  A fantastic way to kick off the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago. Cash bar and light appetizers. 

It's optional… but you really shouldn't miss it!  

Friday, June 23rd, 2017  | 9:00am-5:00pm
The Hockey Career Conference will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
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. See sample agenda below.
Friday, June 23, 2017  |  7:00pm
Round 1 of the 2017 NHL Draft held in the United Center, Home of the Chicago Blackhawks
Conference registration includes lower bowl tickets to both days of the NHL Draft.

Saturday, June 24, 2017  | 10:00am  
Rounds 2-7 of the 2017 NHL Draft held at the United Center, Home of the Chicago Blackhawks
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?

NHL Draft Career Conference will be held:  
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60611

NHL Draft Career Conference Welcome Reception will be held:
Chicago Sports Museum  .5 miles from hotel
(Located Inside Water Tower Place)
835. N. Michigan Ave
Chicago Illinois

2017 NHL Entry Draft will be held:
United Center
1901 W Madison St
Chicago, IL  60612


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 2017 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 in the 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 at the Chicago Sports Museum
  • Friday Networking Lunch
  • SMWW Name badge and credentials
  • Registration packet including conference agenda and speaker biographies
  • Admission to all conference sessions



2017 Hockey NHL Career Conference Agenda 

Thursday, June 22 - Chicago Sports Museum, top of Water Tower Place

7:00pm-9:00pm  SMWW Welcome Reception 

Friday, June 23 - Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

7:30am  Bagels & Coffee

8:00am Opening Remarks 
Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Sports Management Worldwide President and Founder

8:30am The Role and Expectations of a General Manager
John Ferguson, Boston Bruins Executive Director of Player Personnel & General Manager of the Providence Bruins

9:00am Inside Hockey Operations – Managing the Team and Scouting the Players
Moderator: Trevor Whiffen, OHL London Knights Governor
Mike Oke, OHL Peterborough Petes General Manager, SMWW Faculty
Ryan Bowness, NHL Pittsburgh Penguins Professional Scout
Wendell Young, AHL Chicago Wolves General Manager
Lucien DeBlois, NHL Vancouver Canucks Amateur Scout (tentative)

10:00am The Business Side of Hockey
Moderator: Burton Lee, OHL Peterborough Petes Executive Director of Business OperationsNicole Lee, NHL Director Integrated Marketing
Sara Bailey, NHL Chicago Blackhawks Dir. Corporate Partnerships
Lisa Hollenbeck, WHL Portland Winterhawks Dir. Hockey Operations, SMWW Alumni

11:00am Player Representation in Hockey
Moderator: Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, NFL AgentManny Schmidt, NHLPA Agent, SMWW Alumni - Link Management International
Matt Keator, NHLPA Agent - Olympic Sports Management
Eustace King, NHLPA Agent - O2K Worldwide Management Group

12-1pm Networking Lunch

1:00 pm Life of a Hockey Broadcast
Moderator: Dr. Lynn LashbrookEJ Hradek, NHL Live Host
Julie Stewart-Binks, ESPN & SMWW Alumni
John Shannon, Sportsnet.ca Sportscaster

2:00pm: Identifying and Developing NHL’s Future Stars
Moderator: Dino Caputo, WHL Tri-City Americans ScoutMike Johnston, WHL Portland Winterhawks Head Coach/General Manager
Barclay Parneta, WHL Tri-City Americans Asst. General Manager
James Boyd, OHL Ottawa 67’s General Manager

3:00 pm Cutting Edge Methods to Analyze Hockey
Moderator: Dr. Lynn LashbrookDrake Berehowsky, Founder statstrack, Head Coach ECHL Orlando Solar Bears, former NHL Player, SMWW Faculty
Ari Kaplan, Scoutables Founder, SMWW Faculty
Bob Teofilo, Synergy Sports Technology
Bryan Campbell, NHL Detroit Red Wings Dir. of Statistical Analysis and Hockey Administration

3:45–4:15pm: Getting out of Your Own Penalty Box with Bill Guertin, President of The 800 Pound Gorilla, SMWW Faculty

6pm: First Round of the NHL Draft & Fan Fest - Chicago United Center
Tickets included with registration!

Saturday, June 24, 2017 - Chicago United Center

9am-1pm Rounds 2-7 of the NHL Draft & Fan Fest
Tickets included with registration!


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.


Hotels near Conference Location:

Chicago Marriot Downtown/Magnificent Mile
540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Inn of Chicago (across the street)
162 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-3100
Homewood Suites by Hilton (0.3 miles)
152 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 585-9333
AC Hotel (0.1 miles)
630 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 981-6600
Hyatt Regency Chicago (0.4 miles)
151 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-1234
Conrad Chicago (0.1 miles)
101 E Erie St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 667-6700
Sheraton Grand Chicago (0.4 miles)
301 E North Water St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 464-1000
Hilton Garden Inn (0.2 miles)
10 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-0000
Hyatt Regency Chicago (0.4 miles)
151 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-1234
DoubleTree Magnificent Mile (0.2 miles)
300 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-6100
Best Western River North (0.4 miles)
125 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 467-0800
Holiday Inn Express Chicago/Magnificent Mile (0.2 miles)
640 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-4030
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile (0.5 miles)
20 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 324-4000
Homewood Suites by Hilton (0.2 miles)
40 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-2222
Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/River North (0.7 miles)
410 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 494-9301
Courtyard Downtown/Magnificent Mile (0.3 miles)
30 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 329-2500
Holiday inn – Mart Plaza River North (1.0 mile)
350 W Wolf Point Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 836-5000
Registration Now Open!
Early Bird discount available until May 30

This event is limited to the first 150.

Conference Registration includes:

Prices Increase June 2

General Admission : $220 $300 USD


College Students, Faculty & SMWW Alumni : $335 $250 USD


Team, Agency Employees & SMWW Agents : $250 $275 USD

** Please note, conference fee does not include hotel accomodations

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


Check Out Our Photos From The 2017 Conference In Chicago!

Past Speakers (2017 speakers to be announced at a later date)

Note: Due to Team Meetings, speakers are not guaranteed and will change. The closer we get to the date, the more accurate the schedule becomes as executives do not yet know their team meeting schedules. 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...


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.



Download a Copy of the
2016 NHL Draft Hockey Program Here


Thank you! We will let you know as soon as conference dates are announced!