As announced yesterday, the Dallas Stars will host the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at American Airlines Arena on June 22-23. One key reason they received the honor, according to NHL.com’s Sean Shapiro, is that 2018 will mark the team’s 25th anniversary in Dallas and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the way the team has successfully built a hockey community is a main reason for get awarded with the draft.
“I think they’ve done a fabulous job over the 25 years they’ve been here,” Daly said. “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 NHL clubs in non-traditional markets aspire to.”
Stars CEO and president Jim Lites said it has been a two-year commitment to get the draft to come to Dallas. The team has worked hard this year to get back into the playoff picture after a down year for their 25th anniversary. They have hired coach Ken Hitchcock, traded for goaltender Ben Bishop and defenseman Marc Methot and signed several key free agents, including Alexander Radulov and Martin Hanzal.
- Adrian Dater of BSN Denver, writes that it is highly unlikely that Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov will return to the KHL next year when his contract is up. Dater writes that the defensive defenseman and Colorado are less and $1MM apart in negotations and believes the Avalanche wouldn’t let the future restricted free agent leave over that little money. Zadorov, who was the key piece in the Ryan O’Reilly trade two years ago, played 56 games last year for the Avalanche and had 10 assists.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE writes the Bruins, who are well-known for going after top college talent, should not consider signing Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher. The defenseman, who will become a free agent if he doesn’t sign with Colorado before Aug. 15, is likely to receive multiple offers. However, Haggerty writes that the team doesn’t need another undersized, unproven player on their defense since they already have Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy on the roster.