It was announced today that the Dallas Stars will host the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The 2018 event will mark the first time the Stars and the City of Dallas will host the NHL Entry Draft. The Dallas Stars will also be celebrating the club’s 25th anniversary during the upcoming 2017-18 season and has many special events planned throughout the year to commemorate the franchise’s milestone. Although this season also marks the 50th anniversary of the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars franchise, today’s pronouncement was squarely focused on celebrating Dallas’ 25th and rightfully so.
At an event held on the site of the old Reunion Arena, the NHL’s No.2 man, Bill Daly, made the official announcement. He also had much to say about the accomplishments of the Stars since their relocation from Minnesota. “The Stars organization has led the way in turning a non-traditional hockey market into a hockey market. Your involvement in promoting and supporting youth hockey in the greater Dallas area comes from rink initiatives and sponsoring youth hockey teams. It’s not only inspiring, but it’s a model that all other NHL clubs in non-traditional markets aspire to.” Daly went on to say that “the number of kids playing hockey in Dallas has tripled since the club landed here in ’93. Youth hockey teams from Texas have won a dozen national titles at various levels since 2004 an incredible feat in such a short span of time.”
Here is what two other of the league’s key principals and the Mayor of Dallas had to say about this auspicious announcement.
“Players born in 2000 will be the focus of the first Draft of our second century,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Tomorrow’s NHL stars will skate into the spotlight when the 2018 NHL Draft brings the NHL family together at American Airlines Center, providing another highlight for the Dallas Stars’ 25th anniversary celebration.”
“The Stars organization is honored to host the 2018 NHL Draft during our 25th Anniversary season in Dallas,” Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi said. “Since our team moved to North Texas prior to the 1993-1994 season, we have been embraced by the community from day one and are lucky to have one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL. Over the past 25 years, we have seen the tremendous growth of our sport through youth hockey programs, community involvement and grassroots efforts in the greater Southwest region. The 2018 NHL Draft will serve as a showcase for the next generation of international NHL talent and celebrate the success of hockey in the state of Texas.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “The Draft will generate an estimated $14 million in economic impact as we welcome fans from all 31 NHL clubs, members of the hockey community and potential draftees and their families from countries around the world. Our city being granted this honor is yet another example of how Dallas continues to be one of the most sought after locations to host first-class events.” He went on to say “that 6,000 hotels rooms will sell out tomorrow with this announcement.”
The 2018 NHL Entry Draft will be held over two days – Friday, June 22 (First Round) and Saturday, June 23 (The Remaining Six Rounds). A battalion of NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will descend on Dallas while thousands of fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are also expected to attend. With potential superstars such as Rasmus Dahlin, Quinn Hughes, Andrei Svechnikov and Bode Wilde up for grabs, the 2018 Entry Draft promises to be a very memorable affair.