NEW YORK, NY—Officials announced on Saturday, July 29, that the 2018 NHL Draft will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Stars.
Next year will mark the first in franchise history that Dallas will host the draft, which will span over two days—the first round will be held on June 22, 2018 and rounds two through seven will take place on June 23, 2018. Gary Bettman, a commissioner for the NHL, shared in a press release that the league will welcome (and shift their focus toward) players born in the year 2000 as they will then qualify for selection at age 18.
The Stars’ Owner and Governor, Tom Gaglardi, stated that the team has received staunch support from their fan base (which Gaglardi deems to be one of the NHL’s most passionate) since moving to Dallas at the start of the 1993-1994 season. The team will also celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, a time span in which they have hosted multiple hockey programs for youth, grassroots efforts, and other opportunities for community participation.
“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,” Gaglardi contended with excitement.
NHL.com listed the first overall draft picks from 2004 to 2017:
Alexander Ovechkin (2004, Washington Capitals), Sidney Crosby (2005, Pittsburgh Penguins), Erik Johnson (2006, St. Louis Blues), Patrick Kane (2007, Chicago Blackhawks), Steven Stamkos (2008, Tampa Bay Lightning), John Tavares (2009, New York Islanders), Taylor Hall (2010, Edmonton Oilers), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011, Edmonton Oilers), Nail Yakupov (2012, Edmonton Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (2013, Colorado Avalanche), Aaron Ekblad (2014, Florida Panthers), Connor McDavid (2015, Edmonton Oilers), Auston Matthews (2016, Toronto Maple Leafs), and Nico Hischier (2017, New Jersey Devils), the first Swiss player in NHL history to be selected first overall.
Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Tavares, Nugent-Hopkins, MacKinnon, Ekblad, McDavid, and Matthews still play for the teams who selected them first overall. Johnson was traded to Colorado during the 2010-2011 season, while Hall was traded to New Jersey and Yakupov to St. Louis (he will play for Colorado during the 2017-2018 season).