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Dallas Stars Make it Official, Will Host 2018 NHL Draft

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For the first time since the team came to Texas, the NHL draft will be in the Lone Star State

2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars like to make big announcements at their annual summer block party event, from the trade for Patrick Sharp to last year’s announcement of Jamie Benn’s contract extension.

This year’s version isn’t a personnel move, at least yet. As has been rumored the past few days, the Stars officially announced they will be hosting the 2018 NHL Draft at the American Airlines Center next summer.

The Stars have never hosted the draft, but we have reached the point in the NHL’s market development where more and more players are coming from once “non-traditional” markets, including last year’s Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews. It only makes sense, then to continue to place one of the league’s marquee summer events in more diverse locations.

Next season marks the Stars 25th season in Texas, which puts them one year shy of half of their franchise history having taken place in the state. Beyond the draft, the Stars will also host other events to commemorate the anniversary, though specifics haven’t been announced other than the retirement of Jere Lehtinen’s jersey early in the season.

Here is the official release:

Dallas, TX - The Dallas Stars™ will host the 2018 NHL Draft™ at American Airlines Center, the National Hockey League, Stars and City of Dallas announced today. The 2018 event will mark the first time the Stars and the City of Dallas will host the NHL Draft. The Dallas Stars franchise will celebrate the organization's 25th anniversary during the upcoming 2017-18 season, and will host special events throughout the year to commemorate the Club's milestone.

The 2018 NHL Draft™ will be held over two days - Friday, June 22 (Round 1) and Saturday, June 23 (Rounds 2-7). NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while thousands of fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.

"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."

"On behalf of the city of Dallas, thank you to Commissioner Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League for selecting our city to host the 2018 NHL Draft," 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."

The NHL Draft offers the opportunity for hockey fans to witness the beginning of the careers of the latest NHL® stars. Recent No. 1 overall picks include Alex Ovechkin (Washington, 2004), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh, 2005), Erik Johnson (St. Louis, 2006), Patrick Kane (Chicago, 2007), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay, 2008), John Tavares (NY Islanders, 2009), Taylor Hall (Edmonton, 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton, 2011), Nail Yakupov (Edmonton, 2012), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado, 2013), Aaron Ekblad (Florida, 2014), Connor McDavid (Edmonton, 2015), Auston Matthews (Toronto, 2016) and Nico Hischier (New Jersey, 2017).

Ticket plans, related events and other details pertaining to the 2018 NHL Draft™ will be announced at a later date. For historical information and past draft selections, visit www.nhl.com/draft<http://www.nhl.com/draft>>. NHL Network™ and NHL.com<http://NHL.com> will provide extensive coverage live from the event leading up to and after the 2018 NHL Draft™. NHL Social™ will have exclusive coverage on all social platforms, and those looking to join the conversation can use the official hashtag #NHLDraft.