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Key points and facts on the 2017 AFL draw

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016

10 DRAWCARDS AND KEY POINTS FROM THE 2017 AFL DRAW

WELCOME BACK (OR NOT)

* Star Hawthorn recruit Jaeger O'Meara was the biggest target in this year's trade period, departing the Gold Coast despite the Suns patiently nurturing him through four injury-plagued years. He faces his old teammates in rounds three and 12.

* Former Hawthorn champion Jordan Lewis lines up for Melbourne against the Hawks in round seven after leaving with four premierships to his name. The Hawks admitted he left against their wishes.

* GWS signing Brett Deledio faces Richmond at Spotless Stadium in round nine. The reception will be much less friendly from the Tigers' faithful in the return encounter at the MCG in round 18.

* The prospect of Sam Mitchell ever playing against the Hawks would have been unthinkable even a month ago. But that's what will happen in round five when the Eagles fly west to the MCG.

HISTORY-MAKING GAMES

* Heard of Jiangwan Sports Centre? The 25,000-seat ground in Shanghai will host Port Adelaide and Gold Coast in round eight for the first AFL game in China.

* After three decades of campaigning, North Melbourne were granted their wish for a Good Friday game. They'll host premiers Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on April 14.

* The first game to be played for premiership points at a Victorian regional venue other than Geelong in 65 years will feature the Bulldogs and Power at Ballarat's Eureka Stadium in round 22.

PRIME-TIME DARLINGS: A CHANGING OF THE GUARD

* Richmond and Collingwood's failure to threaten the top eight in 2016 have seen them fall out of favour with broadcasters. This year's grand finalists Western Bulldogs and Sydney will dominate Thursday and Friday nights, with the premiers granted eight games in the sought-after timeslots and the Swans 10.

BLOCKBUSTERS

* Fans will be treated to two grand final replays, the first coming in round two at Etihad Stadium followed by a round 12 clash at the SCG. Following their cracking preliminary final last month, early 2017 title favourites GWS meet the premiers in round six - the first time a Friday night game has been played in Canberra.

TRAVELLING SUNS

* In addition to their big trip to China, Gold Coast hit the road to a couple of other venues which only see one match per year. The Suns square off against Melbourne in Alice Springs in round 10 and the Western Bulldogs in Cairns in round 18.

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